The Lord is close to the broken hearted ; and He rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Psalm 34:18
Whether you are black, white, Buddhist or Christian- beyond the theologies and doctrine that makes us different from one another, the pain of life is the one thing that we all share. Sure our doctrines may teach us different ways to deal with adversity but we’re all seeking the same thing. How to deal with hurts, loss and insecurity. We all want to live our lives free of pain and suffering.
I can tell you from my own personal experiences in life that it is simply not possible to live without joy and pain. I have no illusions about it. Period. So I learned to accept the fact that pain is a part of the life we live here on earth ! I also have learned that all pain (in life) physically and spiritually has a purpose. And this is where I want our conversation to begin.
Pain Has A Purpose
I know that you may not be able to see the purpose of the adversity in your life while you’re in the middle of an awful situation – believe me when I say that I’ve been there. Yet I can assure you that your pain, whatever it may be- your pain is purposeful and a necessary step in God’s plans for your life. Without emotional and physical pain we wouldn’t know when something’s wrong.
Take your physical body for example, even in this case pain is necessary. For instance, the pain center of the brain plays an important role. Pain is the body’s way of saying that something is wrong with you. Say that you stub your toe, the awful throbbing you feel immediately after let’s you know that you’ve injured yourself. In fact there are some people who have the rare condition of having no sensitivity to pain at all. You’d think that this condition was a great thing to have except it’s not. Why ? Because the people that suffer from this syndrome are always in danger of losing limbs, severe burns , infections and in some cases death ! If your body’s immune to pain it is unable to alert you when something’s wrong ! How would you feel the symptoms of an appendicitis ? How about the symptoms of a heart attack ?Without the help of pain in your chest would you be able to call 911 or take an aspirin or do anything to preserve your life?
You got the point. Pain is just a symptom of a larger problem. The pain in our spiritual lives isn’t any different; it’s the emergency alert that tells us when we are in trouble. Therefore it’s necessary and has a unique purpose in our lives and spiritual development. So now that you’ve got an understanding of the role of pain in life- what’s next ?
Next we have to do an honest assessment of our spiritual health. When I say honest I mean honestly look at where we are spiritually . Sort of like a little check up . I ask myself questions and I think on the answer . How’s my prayer life ? Am I sick with resentment and frustration ? Am I living with unforgiveness or bitterness ? I could go on and on but you get the point . I’m not saying that the pain in our lives is a result of something that you did or didn’t do . I’m just saying the challenges of life gives me an opportunity to stop and think about where I’m at spiritually and what area I may need some help with from The Lord .
What do we do when we’re going through something painful ? Since the natural human response is to flee the pain and suffering , it’s seems like facing the pain would be unnatural to the average person. However I have learned that not only should I face life’s adversities, but I’ve learned to embrace the pain That’s right I just said that I have learned to embrace the pain. From the excruciating (and at times debilitating) pain of Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis, to the devastating loss of my husband – I have learned to take the pain. Not just for the sake of being (or looking) strong. I endure those painful moments because I know that they are temporary and that God has promised that things will only work to my benefit in the end. I’m going to admit it, I still don’t understand how the death of my life partner is a benefit for me. I do know that I’ve become much stronger in a spiritual sense and I’ve got a new perspective on life. I now know that I have the strength to go through just about anything . I don’t take anyone or anything in this life for granted anymore .
But I’m still working through a process that only those who have been there could fully understand and appreciate. This is why we must all find our courage and faith in the Word of God. For example I can’t even conceive of the reasons why the death of a loved one would be a part of the plan that God has for my life. Or why there are children dying in Syria because of a civil war.
I don’t know what good will come out for people who are trapped inside war torn countries . There are inarguably terrible things that happen to people who are Christians (or not) all over the world but The Word of God promises:
“We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him. They are the ones God has chosen for his purpose,”Romans 8:28 CEVDCUS
So even though I don’t get it- I do have faith that The Lord will use our to be a benefit for us. I couldn’t be so certain of that fact without the faith that comes from an experience of suffering . Through suffering we have the amazing opportunity to see God at His best. In Phillipians Paul states that’ His strength is made perfect in our weaknesses ‘ . Paul then goes on to say that for ‘this purpose I will boast in my weakness. In other words, he too learned to embrace his pain. I have learned to embrace my inner pain because I know that I’m being brought closer to God. I’m being made stronger and wiser.
How do I know that ? Because I was broken, torn apart and empty. I didn’t even want to pray. Now if you knew me personally that would probably shock you but it was true. But even in my brokenness The Lord was there . He was there picking up those broken pieces and transforming me in the process.
“So I went down to the potter’s house; he was working on the potter’s wheel. But the piece he was making was flawed while still in his hands, so the potter started on another, as seemed best to him.”Jeremiah 18:3-4 CEB The Lord is the ultimate potter, what we see as a bunch of broken pieces He sees as the material for a masterpiece, and a chosen vessel.
Your trials come to perfect you!
No Weapon – Commissioned
Envision the clay and how it goes around and around the potter’s wheel. It looks like a lot of nothing at first but as the potter continues to press and mold the lump of clay starts to take a form. He is the potter and we are the clay. It doesn’t feel good to be pressed. It isn’t pleasant to feel the mashing and pressure to be spun into shape. But the end result of the process is beautiful and amazing. The result is a vessel that can be used for a good purpose.
It’s the getting to that point of being a vessel that trips us up. The pain of the pressing issues of life and the pushing through those things are difficult.
He’s also promised that He is closest to me when I am brought so low that I feel like I may never recover.
The Lord is close to the broken hearted ; and He rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Psalm 34:18
When I can’t understand why the Lord would allow the inconceivable to happen in my life, there too the Word of God has given me an assurance .
“For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.”
Jeremiah 29:11 AMPC
Look I’ll be the first person to talk about how much adversity has touched my life and the tragedy that has shaken my foundation of faith. But I can also say that without those experiences, I couldn’t be who I am in Christ today. It’s just like a cut or open wound on your body ; initially the area is raw and painful to the touch. You treat the wound with an antibiotic ointment to prevent an infection. The last thing you want to do is get an infection ! The next thing you do is cover it with a Band Aid or something to keep it clean and protected. The pain of the cut draws attention to the area and makes you focus on what you need to do that will help it heal. If you’ve done everything to promote healing- it gets better. In most cases the body creates scar tissue and the skin around (and on top of) that cut is tougher than the other skin. The cut has not only been healed but it’s even tougher than it was before. The same thing happens when you get a spiritual wound.
When you get a spiritual wound in your soul, the pain of it makes you pay attention to an area that needs some treatment. Hard times in life make us turn God for healing and relief. Turning to the Lord means giving Him those things that we have no control over , no idea what to do with and giving Him the those things that just tear us apart. Don’t worry about shocking The Lord with anything because He’s already knows what’s in your heart.
“God, who knows the heart, testified about them, giving them the Holy Spirit, just like he did to us.”
Acts 15:8 WEB
The Lord is just waiting on you to do what He does best – be your ‘burden bearer ‘. The best thing about it is that Jesus knows how heavy the weight of a burden can be . The night in the Garden of Gethsemane for example, the night when He was arrested , as Jesus prayed to God, He was literally feeling the weight of the world on His shoulders. In that moment even Jesus had to pray for the strength to carry out the Father’s will . “Saying, Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but [always] Yours be done.” Luke 22:42 AMPC After unburdening Himself, He was given the courage and strength to do what He was born to do – lay down His own life and die for you and I.
“Cast your burden on the Lord [releasing the weight of it] and He will sustain you; He will never allow the [consistently] righteous to be moved (made to slip, fall, or fail). [I Pet. 5:7.]”
Psalm 55:22 AMPC
Today I hope that you’ll gain the courage to face the pain of life’s difficulties and hardships. I pray that you’ll find hope in The Word and be encouraged by the knowledge that The Lord is closet to you when you’re hurting. Finally I pray that like me, you’ll get a true understanding of the spiritual purpose of the pain in our lives.
Be Blessed Today,