Pain! What can we say about pain? Pain is extreme discomfort. Pain can turn our lives upside down. We all go through pain, and our threshold for pain is different. To some, something considered ‘small’ can inflict in them an unimaginable amount of pain. To others, they have to go through something considered ‘big’ to feel the same amount of pain. Pain as the word suggests is painful. It can be physical or emotional. Most of the time, it is inflicted by other people.
When people do or say things without any form of consideration as to how such affect other people, this results in hurt and emotional wounds. We do not live in isolation, we are a community. Anything we do say or do, we can be sure it will affect another person, whether in a positive or negative way. There is always a ripple effect to our words and actions.
During other times, it is due to circumstances beyond our control. It may be due to losing someone we love, it may be due to sickness, it may be due to difficult family circumstances, it may be due to broken promises and lost friendships, it may be due careless mistakes from others or ourselves, it may due to honest mistakes of others or of ourselves, it may be due to rejection of any kind, can be due to unmet expectations; the possibilities are diverse.
Pain leaves us broken, it can crush our spirit, it can leave us in unimaginable and inconsolable grief, it can lead to depression, it can drive others to lose the point or purpose of life, it can damage our sense of who we are; it leaves a lot of damage.
Yet, it can also be a driving factor to something beautiful with God’s power. Pain molds us in ways we would never have imaged before. It can change the trajectory of our lives into something we never dreamed of before. It brings to the surface things we have to deal with, and not run away from. It brings to the surface our insecurities, our fears, our thought patterns; things that we have to deal with and change for the better.
Pain changes our worldview, either for the better or worse, whichever way we allow it. It molds character. During such times, we come to realize what is really important in this life. During such times, we get to know the real character of people, we get to know who was with us just for the convenience and who is really a true friend. The best of all, we find God if we allow it, our relationship with God becomes personal and amazing.
The Bible says that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character, hope; and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
We should never allow pain to damage us, we should never allow pain to make us start hating people, we should never allow pain to make us bitter. The moment we allow that, the enemy wins. If we are defeated, only the enemy rejoices.
The Bible tells us that no temptation has overtaken us except what is common to mankind; and God is faithful, He will not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability to bear; but when tempted, He will also provide a way out so that we can endure it.
When we come to the realization of that truth, we realize that other people have gone through whatever we may be going through. We are not going through something new in this world. Jesus Himself went through the worst form of humiliation and pain, yet, He was sinless. He was born for the purpose of dying for our sins so that we can be saved. His death led to the salvation of mankind, to those who believe in Him.
The Bible says that anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Our attitude during hard times is very important. Any moment we start reasoning that everything and everyone must be against us, we will easily give up, we end up setting ourselves up for failure. When we start feeling sorry for ourselves, we cannot move forward. We can either stay where we are and throw a large pity party, whereby we tell everyone who cares to listen how much we are hurting. We can stay there and tell ourselves and others how much we were wronged, how much we are hurting, how our bodies have been injured and sick, how much things went wrong; and everything else that we may think is wrong. Or, we can rise up and use the lessons learned to serve God.
God’s grace is sufficient, His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
When the power of Christ rests upon us, when we are weak, then we are strong. Most of the time we do not realize how strong we are, by God’s grace, until we go through storms. Storms of life have a way of making us stop whatever we were busy doing, and start earnestly searching for what really matters. What really matters in this world? The answer is, God. Only a life lived for God is worth living, everything else is meaningless. The things of the world bring temporary satisfaction. Only God fulfills the deep longings in our hearts.
With time, we realize how limited people are, how untrustworthy people can be, how temporary life is; only God is sovereign, only God was, only God is, and only God will remain and always will be. Initially, we try to find comfort in things and in other people but we soon come to realize everyone is busy fighting their own battles. There are those who make real efforts to be there for others; but eventually, our satisfaction, contentment, and comfort can never come from people. Only God can comfort us, only God can mend our broken pieces, only God can heal our wounds, only God can rescue us when we are desperate, only God can fill us when we are empty, only God can pardon us when we feel condemned.
Only the blood of Jesus Christ has the power to transform our lives. Only God can set us free.
When we suffer for Christ, God showers us with His comfort. Then, when we have gone through the storm, we are able to comfort others with the same measure we were comforted with. Only God restores, confirms, strengthens, and establishes us. In our pain, we should never reject God. On the contrary, pain should drive us to repent and change our ways. The Bible says that godly sorrow leads to repentance without regret and results in salvation. On the other hand, worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, leads to death
God has promised to be with us every step of the way, He goes ahead of us and fights battles for us. When we eventually rise above the storm, and look back, we realize God was at work every step of the way. Though we stumble, we will never fall, God holds us by the hand. He tells us to call Him during times of trouble and He will save us. God is the only one who heals broken hearts; the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called to His purpose.
He has sent me to provide for all those who grieve in Zion, to give them crowns instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of tears of grief, and clothes of praise instead of a spirit of weakness. They will be called Oaks of Righteousness, the Plantings of the Lord, so that He might display His glory. Isaiah 61:3.
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