Grace and peace be unto you.
The journey continues…
The word “pain” has a negative connotation for many of us and if we had a choice we would live in a world without pain. We have all experienced excruciating pain at some point in our lives, whether it resulted from the death of a loved one, bankruptcy, abuse, illness, or discrimination. The writer of Ecclesiastes states, “…there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Each generation faces challenges and pain is one of the results, hence it is unavoidable.
Jesus can take away your pain
Although we cannot avoid pain, the good news is that Jesus can heal us. The Apostle Luke shared the story of how Jesus healed a woman who was in pain, “And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped” (Luke 8:43-48).
Sometimes, Jesus heals through miracles, other times through medicine and there are those moments in which he provides no healing. Instead, he gives us the grace to accomplish his purpose while we endure the pain. The Apostle Paul prayed for God to remove his thorn in the flesh and his request was not granted. Instead, God told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Jesus has the power to remove your pain but if it will help you accomplish your purpose, He will allow it to remain.
Using your pain to help others in similar situations
Jesus expects you to use the experience from your pain to help others whether or not you receive healing. Recently, I listened to a sermon from Pastor Rick Warren and an interview with Oprah and Lady Gaga in which they share testimonies about using their pain for God’s glory. Pastor Rick Warren talked about the pain of losing his son to suicide while Lady Gaga shared that she is living with chronic pain due to a medical condition. They felt that God allowed the unpleasant circumstances in their lives for his glory. As such, they are using their experiences to help others in similar situations. Pastor Warren has developed a mental health ministry while Lady Gaga is looking at a few initiatives, one of which is partnering with the education sector to improve mental health among children.
The Apostle Paul was no stranger to pain, he shared that, “Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers” (2 Corinthians 11: 24-26). Despite his painful experiences, he continued being a disciple of Jesus Christ and motivated millions of people to continue serving the Lord amidst painful circumstances. Paul looked at his pain through the lens of Jesus Christ and realized that it was for the greater good, that is, the saving of many lives.
Embracing your pain
When you accept your pain as a part of life and commit it to Jesus, you learn compassion, love, humility, and enjoy a stronger relationship with Christ. You are better able to empathize and help others in similar situations. Furthermore, you are more receptive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in regards to using your pain for God’s glory. God has allowed pain in your life so that you will use the experience to help others. How have you used your pain to help others? I encourage you to give your pain to Jesus and ask the Holy Spirit to help you identify ways in which you can help others.