Pain doesn’t have to destroy or debilitate us. As I said 2 weeks ago I’ve discovered three wonderful truths about pain. I covered the first 2 truths in the previous blogs:
Now onto my favorite—joy despite the presence of pain. I’ve written about this many times before and I don’t want to sound like a broken record but….
There are too many joyless Christians running around making the precious gospel unattractive that I must speak up once again!
So how can we get this joy in such a painful world?
1. We need a new perspective about pain.
We find it hard to believe that a loving and good God would allow so much pain and suffering in our lives. It goes against the grain of what most of us think and want. However, as Carol Truhan—a woman very familiar with pain—says:
“Does love permit pain? Did God the Father love His Son? Did He allow Him to suffer pain? How much pain? The greatest suffering, the greatest pain ever inflicted was where the greatest love was ever shown. We need to get out of our Americanized minds that infinite love won’t allow us to go through pain. That is false!”*
2. Believe that joy and pain can coexist.
I used to think joy was supposed to replace the pain. But that was wrong thinking too. After losing my soul mate to cancer I have proven that it is possible!
3. Abide in Christ
The only way for pain and joy to coexist in your life is to live in Christ.
Joy is a byproduct of being and remaining in a right relationship with God. It shouldn’t be the goal!
As we abide in Christ and His Word, the outcome will be His joy, peace, etc. (Jn 15, Gal 5:22-23). His joy will be our joy!
4. Focus on God and others, not self
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross…. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Heb 12:2-3)
While Jesus was hanging on the cross, He was thinking about the joy of rescuing mankind from hell to heaven to spend eternity with Him.
I have found that focusing on God is the only solution in times of heartache. He has always rescued me from the pit of despair and “put a new song in my mouth” (Ps 40:1-3).
5. Develop an eternal perspective
Without the promise of a much better future, I would have given up a long time ago. Great rewards await those who serve God wholeheartedly.
Think about all ways God will use this pain to benefit you and others eternally. If your pain could save a soul from hell, wouldn’t it be worth it to you? Jesus thought you were worth it. Sacrifice is always painful, but it’s never for naught if you’re doing it for the Lord!
In fact, by cooperating with God, we can increase our heavenly reward. That puts a smile on my face, a spring in my step, and an oomph in my pressing on—even in the midst of suffering.
Until next time, my friends, remember the words of Peter:
In this [our eternal inheritance] you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith…may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy. (1 Pet 1:6-8)
*From a Ladies Prayer Advance
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.