Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Is there purpose in pain?

We all suffer. In one way or another. Physically, emotionally, and sometimes even spiritually. As I pray and think about all those suffering in Boston this morning, I can’t help to wonder what, if anything, could the purpose be for such pain and heartache.

Is it even possible to find purpose in our pain? Is there something bigger than ourselves that can make our pain bearable, almost “worth it”? The Apostle Paul thought so. No stranger to the pain and imprisonment that accompanied his persecution as a follower of Christ, he penned these words:

Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly. — Philippians 1:12-14, NIV

God never said we would live without pain or loss. In fact, his Word tells that we will have trials in this life. But if we can allow God to work His purpose through our pain, then many will see and believe in the One who sustains and strengthens us in the midst of our suffering. Just when your pain becomes too much to bear, remember that Jesus suffered agonizing pain on the cross so that we might be forgiven from the sin that separated us from God and spend an eternity in heaven with him, where there is no pain.

The pain God has allowed to come into your life could be the very gift he uses to bring another soul into his kingdom. Not everything that happens to us in this life is good, but God will always bring good out of it. It is my prayer that God would use my pain and heartache to minister to someone else today.

If you are struggling today with some kind of pain or heartache, give it to God and see what He can do with it.