“ I cry out to God; yes, I shout. Oh, that God would listen to me! When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord. All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven, but my soul was not comforted. I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help.” Psalm 77:1-3.
The Apostle Paul said this in Romans 8:28: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Most Christians know this verse, but do we truly believe it? Do we believe this when we are facing real trials in our life? Do we really believe God has a purpose for our pain, sorrow, and despair? It is not always easy to accept, but that doesn’t mean the words of Paul to be any less true.
There is no such thing as a pain free life even for a believer. Brokenness and pain seem to be quite popular lately for Christians. They’ve all encountered tragedies they didn’t expect nor could they have really planned for. And now all of these people are stuck in the middle of a storm and wondering how God is is possibly going to work things together for good.
God does have a purpose for your pain. God can take everything in life that’s been thrown at us, redeem it, and use it for the glory of His name. That is if we surrender our circumstances to Him. We need to trust God. The purpose of your pain may not come immediately. In fact, it may take years. But as God’s Word says, “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God” and we have to stand on this truth. It could be one of the hardest things you encounter in life. But it can also be one of the most renewing, strengthening and encouraging times of your life, especially when we help others through our pain.
Who can better help walk with someone who has an addiction than someone who once had an addiction and lost everything? Who can better walk next to someone who is currently mourning the loss of a loved one than someone who has been through a similar experience? God can take our pain, our brokenness, our frustrations, our failures, and use them as the testimonies in which we help others.
God has a purpose for our pain even if we have yet to realize it. He can redeem all things because He is the one who created all things. Take some time to meditate on the wisdom of God as He works out His perfect will through our suffering. No wonder James, the brother of our Lord, commanded us to. “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” (James 1:2)
- How does pain in your life shape or strengthen your image of Jesus?
- Sometimes short-term pain can bring about long-term joy and peace. Have you ever felt like the pain you went through was worth it because of the end result? Are you willing to endure short-term trials, knowing that there is long-term joy coming in the future?