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The Problem and Purpose of Pain

March 19th, 2014

“Our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory revealed in us.” Romans 8:18 NIV.

God redeems your pain to accomplish His purposes, which are eternal.

My comments and considerations today are about, “the problem and purpose of pain.”

We can all agree; pain is a problem. Pain is inflicted by imposed or opposing circumstances, usually by troubling circumstances or trying people. (See Matthew 13:20-21 NIV) But does pain ever serve a purpose? Pain is too common for it not to have a purpose in some instances. For example, physical pain can be a necessary warning that something in your body is not as it should be. Pain in a relationship signals discord between two or more individuals that cannot be ignored. At such times, pain can be a blessing in disguise, refusing to allow you to disregard its cause and prompting you to resolve its source.

Pain comes in diverse forms. Most frequently, people think first of pain as physical in its origin and expression, but the source can also be mental, emotional, psychic, relational, or spiritual. Sometimes those may seem more difficult than even physical distress. In the Bible, pain is described as “suffering” or “affliction,” both of which appear frequently.

God does not inflict pain to achieve a temporal purpose; if you allow, God will redeem your pain to accomplish His purposes, which are eternal. Jesus bore the pain of your sins and mine. Read Isaiah 53:4-6 NKJV. ”We rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance [produces] character; and character [produces] hope . . because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.” Romans 5:3-5 NIV.

The greatest pain you feel is when you can see no good whatsoever in what you are experiencing presently. You are not alone in your pain. Paul describes such a situation, “We were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears. Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us.” 2 Corinthians 7:5-6 NKJV. When you rightly respond to God in trust and obedience, God transforms suffering from loss to gain, from sorrow to rejoicing. “Now if we are children, then we . . share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:17-18 NIV.

When suffering righteously, an eternal perspective is a choice. Read Hebrews 11:25-26 NKJV. “For our light affliction[in comparison], which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NKJV. Your pain is temporary; His purpose is eternal.

There is a day coming when pain is eradicated forever when, “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’” Revelation 21:4-5 NKJV. What a glorious promise, no more pain.

My prayer for you today is that your praise will always replace your pain.

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