There are a couple of things in life that are simple yet important to me: pizza is one and ice cream is another. Watching sunsets and listening to good music. These things make me happy.
I like my life when things are good, but I don’t like it when things are going in the wrong direction and if I am being honest, I have a hard time when life is not going my way.
Because let’s face it nobody and I mean nobody likes pain.
We don’t welcome it. We don’t wish for it and we certainly don’t pray for others to have to go through it.
But following God means, I will and must go through pain.
And not only that, it appears that pain has a purpose. You read that correct, pain -however that will look like in your life - does have a reason for existing. What that might be?
James tells us how we should trouble and pain in life, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:1-4 NIV).
According to this passage, pain helps to develop us. Pain makes us complete. Pain makes us mature. Without the painful and hard things in life we go through we won’t be all that we need to be in Christ.
But if I am being honest, I don’t like this truth or process, but I have learned and accepted that it is totally necessary.
When I first started to learn how to play the guitar my fingers had to go through the exercise of learning the strings and the strings would cause my fingers to be indented and experience pain. It was a physical pain that I did not like, but was needed to make beautiful music.
Also, when I attended school, I did not like writing exams or completing papers. But studying, researching, and writing were all necessary in order to get the degree which then opened the door for my opportunities.
In our walk with God, we will have to go through some very hard things. Things we did not ask for or pray for or would wish for anyone to go through. But it’s necessary.
In a culture that believes in cutting corners and getting what you want at any cost or in a painless way, that truth does not resonate well. But it’s good to go through pain.
It’s good to sacrifice.
It’s good to learn to depend on God rather than yourself.
It’s good for us to grow in God.
It’s good to see God’s power and goodness in life despite the evil around us.
With this in mind, we can look at pain differently.
When we go through painful situations, we can ask ourselves, “God what do you want me to learn through this?” When we do this, we will realize that our pain has a purpose and it’s good for us. Then when everything is said and done, God will give us beauty for ashes, turn our wailing into dancing, and our weeping into joy. With that in mind, we will no longer ask why we had to go through what we went through, but we will move forward with a heart of praise.
Prayer: Father help me to see that despite what is going on in my life you are still in control and you love me. You will use everything in my life for your good. I am in pain right now but I know you will make all things right. Help me in this season, in Jesus' name, Amen.