Pain. It’s unavoidable! But believe it or not, we cause so much of it ourselves—needlessly. The way we respond to the daily circumstances of our lives will determine how much of that pain will be unnecessary.
But you did not listen to me, declares the Lord, and you have provoked me with what your hands have made, and you have brought harm to yourselves. (Jer 25:7)
What causes this unnecessary pain?
- A lack of knowledge or understanding
Thinking wrongly about God, yourself, others, or life in general will produce heartache. Misunderstanding God’s heart, a situation, people’s actions or motives also leads to anguish.
- An improper attitude
Wrong perceptions lead to wrong attitudes and wrong actions.
- A lack of acceptance and surrender
This is a biggie! God resists the proud (1 Pet 5:5).
Perhaps you’re thinking, “What about that wrong done against me by another person? You have no idea of the pain he caused me! I certainly can’t do anything about that!”
Oh, but there is!
It’s in how you respond to that offense.
If you refuse to forgive, your turmoil will be magnified—needlessly. But if you go to God for comfort, guidance, and the enabling to forgive, then your anguish will be minimized. God is a very good Comforter and Healer (2 Cor 1:3, Ps 147:3).
That wrongdoing doesn’t have to destroy or disable you. That’s what Satan wants (Jn 10:10). You can choose to let God use it. You don’t have to waste the pain as we saw last time.
Basically, when we do life our way instead of God’s way, we cause ourselves harm.
- Harm in our relationship with God and others.
- Harm in suffering the consequences of wrong attitudes and actions.
- Harm as in the loss of joy, peace, contentment, fruitfulness, and eternal rewards.
When we worry instead of trusting→ the pain of anxiety.
When we seek after worldly things instead of God→ the pain of emptiness, disappointment, and despair.
When we refuse to forgive→ the pain of resentment and bitterness.
When we live independent of God→ the pain of loneliness, inadequacy, failure, and a whole host of other negative consequences.
When we don’t confess and repent of our sin→ the pain of oppressive guilt and lack of peace in our soul.
The chart below summarizes how we can either lessen or increase the amount of pain we experience.
There’s one other thing here I want you to consider—the amount of pain we cause our Savior. Hasn’t He suffered enough? Do we have to grieve the Lord’s heart by choosing our selfish ways?
I know I am weak and will hurt His heart until the day He takes me home. But I want to do all I can to minimize the amount of that pain.
Oh, I have caused myself, others, and my God so much preventable pain because I didn’t deal with difficulties in a godly fashion! But my kind Father has now made me aware of the error of my ways. Now you know as well.
Will you join me in trying to yield to God’s perfect will with minimal fighting? Then it won’t hurt quite as much when we undergo hardship, and the amount of good produced will be maximized.
Minimized pain; maximized results—that’s what I want!
Until next time my friends, let’s work together to lessen all this needless pain!
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.