I once had a professor who told our class that he does not take ibuprofen when he has a headache. He went on to explain that he rarely experienced pain in this comfortable world in which we live. Without any pain, it is hard to identify with and remember what Christ did for us. Perhaps there is something to this.
In my comfortable world, it is too easy to be unmoved by our Lord’s appalling experience of the cross.
If you are going through a painful or otherwise stretching experience, I want to encourage you that it is not in vain. Even in those times where there is no plausible purpose for the pain, trust that God will use it for His glory. Whether the pain is physical or emotional, whether the pain is trivial or significant, our Lord is working for your good.
God uses our painful experiences for more than we can imagine. If nothing else, painful experiences help us identify with Christ. Thus, in every painful circumstance, we have something to gain: Although we will never fully empathize with the suffering of our Savior—praise God—through every painful circumstance, we are that much closer to identifying with Christ.
And when I experience a scintilla of identification with Christ, I become all the more thankful for the enormity of pain Christ took from us. And I am reminded that Christ’s promises are no less true in times of suffering. And I remember the glory that is and will be revealed in us.
I pray you remember.
Thank You, Lord, that You use every one of our sufferings for Your glory. Praise the Lord that He has experienced suffering for us. Praise God that He is our refuge. Praise God that our earthly sufferings compare not to His present and future glory.
“My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.” (Psalm 119:50 NIV).
“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering…he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:3-5 NIV).
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18 NIV).
Come to mama.
Much love to you,
One Comment Add yours
Thank you for always saying what I need to hear even when I don't want to hear it or like what it means for me 😉
I have been really struggling with this post because I'm in a tremendous season of pain and disappointment and frustration with God. I feel like my self-pity is so consuming that even thinking about identifying with God offends me. I don't want to think about dying to myself, I want healing and help and a miracle that makes my life easier, makes me FEEL better.
But today, if only for a moment, this seems clear. I have to remember that I'm on this earth to bring HIM glory, not be happy or comfortable or get what I want. Those things happen more often than not because of His love and mercy so I get in the habit of making them the purpose of my life…but how important to remember that my only purpose in this world is HIS GLORY. Everything else is but a breath. So what does that mean for my pain that sometimes clouds my mind and weakens me to the point of hopelessness? Well, I think God is less glorified when I'm fearful and whimpering and impatient – He still loves me and carries me and I'm still His – but how much more would He be glorified if I walked confidently in trust, still in pain, still without understanding, but instead saying “Lord, I don't understand, I don't want this, it hurts, please fix it BUT I trust You. I know You're good and You love me and You are able. I know I won't be disappointed because my hope is You and You will never fail.” I know this easier said than done because my FEELINGS are so powerful. But if I want God to be glorified – and I DO – then I think this is necessary. Just a thought…