The joy in trial, understanding how God uses pain to heal us
*John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”*
What a blessing it is to know that the Lord has overcome. When life is challenging and our world falls apart, it a wonderful assurance that no matter what we face….. we can find peace in God. As an attorney, I always want to find the answer to things and sometimes in life we just don’t have the capacity to understand why things happen the way they do. I think in our minds we have a script of how life is supposed to go and when it veers off that script we are filled with despair. Trusting the Lord means that we have to yield control of our lives to God and though we don’t always understand his purpose we can remember his goodness. God has blessed me with so many things but he has also taken away things from me that I loved, and sometimes I sin by focusing not on what he has given but what he has taken away. All of you understand on some level and it does no good to spend time condemning ourselves about things we cannot change. I have struggled with chronic pain for 10 of the last 15 years and it has been hard for me to see Gods love in it. I understand it theologically but practically on days when work is hard and relationships are difficult, being in physical pain can be overwhelming. But even in this trial God has blessed me with Good doctors and a degree of healing that has allowed me to have a full life though he has given me some limitations.
I have learned that though it is good to pray for healing it is a sin to worship it because if God allows this then it is for my good and his glory. The goal of this life isn’t for us to always be comfortable but to be devoted followers of Christ. Jesus had to take up his cross in order for us to be free and everyone has unique trials which are meant to bring them closer to God. I think we spend so much time trying to escape pain that we miss an opportunity to let it teach us something. Our bodies sometimes produce pain so that we know what things to do and what things we shouldn’t do. Pain can train us or as the Army says “pain retains”. If we love God we know that sin always produces pain and though it can temporarily give us pleasure it ultimately harms us more than we realize. Pain can be a good teacher but we must be humble and listen to what it is teaching us. It is good to remember that both pleasure and pain are temporary and God gives us both in this life. My encouragement is to not grow bitter in pain but ask the Lord to use it to draw us to him. The Lord endured pain for us and because of his pain we know that our destiny is place where pain is no more. Whatever is going on in your life God has a purpose in it, and though it is good to pray that he takes away the pain, I would ask that you pray that he uses it for his good purpose. The Lord will never give you more than you can handle and when the trials come he will be there with you. I would encourage you not just to endure but to thrive. If you can endure a trial that is a good thing but if you can find peace and joy then you truly have victory. Comfort others who are hurting and when you need comfort be open to the people God has put in your life.
About the Author: I am a Birmingham attorney who has been in private practice for over six years. I have a general practice, so I get the opportunity to help serve people who find themselves in some very difficult circumstances. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it encourages you. I always love getting thoughtful comments, so please email those to me. My website is www.reidlawalabama.com. If you know anyone who is going through a difficult situation whether it be legal or personal and they are in Birmingham area you can e-mail me at email@example.com. Our firm works with some excellent faith based counselors, many of whom are free or low cost. A lot of the times the legal issues people face are due to deeper underlying issues like substance abuse and other things. I have found the most effective form of treatment is getting a personally qualified counselor who helps get to the root of the issues someone is dealing with, and we will help people get connected for free (we never take a payment for referral fee for this). Again my website is www.reidlawalabama.com, which contains my contact information. God Bless.