Pain. It’s a BIG topic. Dealing with it can be difficult. However, the Lord has shown us that we do not have to be overcome by the hardships of life.
As I said last time, in order to deal with our pain properly we need to be
Open-minded, Open-handed, and Open-hearted
Now with this open attitude, you can use the proven method below to process through your pain.
1. Go to God
God cannot heal you from afar. Avoiding the issue only prolongs and intensifies your pain. Don’t delay. Personally, I know I cannot handle my suffering in a godly way without Him. I am bound to sin if I try doing it in my own strength. (Remember: our goal is not to sin in our suffering.)
2. Write down what’s going on and how you are feeling
Emotions cloud our judgments—take it from this emotional yoyo. While it is true that verbalizing to God or someone helps immensely in processing through difficulties, I have found writing it down goes a step beyond. This is a much under-utilized tool.
There are many good reasons to putting pen and paper into action.
- It’s a way to get your inner thoughts and feelings outside of yourself.
- It releases pent up feelings and stress.
- It declutters the mind.
Scripting sorts and itemizes the problem or situation. As you look at each point, now isolated, you can evaluate and think things through more clearly.
- Helps you determine your tendencies
- Leaves a record for future use
3. Don’t deny but determine the why of your pain
Think about the reason(s) behind your pain, and write them down as well. Now that they are separated onto paper you can deal with them individually, rather than with an utterly entangled frustrating mess.
Each one can be talked through with the Lord. As you do this, you will see each one for what they really are.
- If your feeling is based on false or wrong perceptions, you can replace it with God’s truth.
- If your feeling is based on truth, you can ask God how to respond and for the power to carry it out.
- If you’re unsure whether your feeling is based on truth or not, search the Scriptures. Ask the Lord for discernment.
Let the Holy Spirit guide you in this self-evaluation. He wants you to know the truth.
4. Make a list of the good that could possibly result from your pain
Remember to think long-term here, with the big picture in mind. (See this blog for help). Consider what’s at stake, and how your response would impact others eternally.
5. Surrender your feelings
No matter what you are feeling, lay it down on the altar. Better feelings will follow! Allow the Lord to heal your wounds. Let Him correct any wrong thinking and crucify any wrong attitudes. Then follow through on anything God tells you.
For example, if He asks you to forgive an extreme hurt, then choose to lay your resentment aside and trust Him for the enabling power to forgive.
My friends, I have used this process time and time again—in dealing with grief, betrayal of a friend, physical agony, disappointments, and so on. This works because it is based on the truth of Scripture. Just remember to give God time to do His divine work!
From the most severe agony to the littlest frustrations of life, God wants you to deal with pain His way—by drawing near to Him with an open yielded heart so that He can heal and comfort you in a way that only He can.
And when you draw close to God, God will draw close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and let your hearts be filled with God alone to make them pure and true to him. (James 4:8)