Finding Purpose to Your Pain
When was the last time you couldn’t sleep at night because your brain was worried about a situation in your life? The apostle Paul wrote the book of Philippians in the Bible from a jail cell. Paul had every reason to lose his sleep from worry, because prisons during ancient times were much harsher than modern ones. Paul went beyond seeing prison life with a glass half full attitude when he wrote, “I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.” (Phil. 1:12-14 ESV) Paul wasn’t just happy to be alive each day, he righteously rejoiced knowing that others were encouraged to boldly proclaim the power of Christ in their lives. Paul understood that there was a divine purpose for his pain. Do you feel the same way about your pain?
There are many biblical examples of what we can do when we are feeling pain. When King David was surrounded by his enemies, he turned to God and wrote many of the Psalms that encourage us today. Jesus used his last few days on this Earth to encourage his disciples to follow His teachings. The night before his crucifixion, Jesus turned to God, praying for strength when he said, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” (Matthew 26:42 ESV) Then after being flogged, beaten, mocked, and nailed to a cross, Jesus prayed for God to have mercy on His trespassers (Luke 23:34). In Matthew 27:46 (ESV), Jesus turned His emotions over to God shortly before dying on the cross, saying, “’Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” He then in a loud voice said these final words “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” (Luke 23:46). When children of God go through pain, they have the choice to commit their whole spirit to God, just like Jesus. Heeding His example, let us turn to God in prayer.
Dear Lord, thank you for our beautiful life and the trials we face. Please grant us the wisdom so that we can use our trials to be encouraged and grow in our relationship with you. Then help us use the lessons we have learned to guide others to do the same. Turning to you allows us to find our way through the storms of life. Help us shine your light and find the righteous purpose behind our pain, so we can glorify you. We pray these thoughts in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen