Pain, according to World Book Dictionary means: a feeling of being hurt, mental suffering, grief, sorrow, punishment, and penalty.
In recent months it seems pain has been my constant companion. Physically, mentally and spiritually I have experienced pain to some degree. Why would I state that this could be good for me?
Pain is usually a symptom that something is wrong. I am not a believer of the often taught doctrine that says: If you are sick it is because you are in sin, or if you have financial difficulties it is because you are in sin, etc.
I do believe that there are times when we are reaping the harvest of our behavior therefore we may end up sick because we have treated our bodies poorly or we may face financial crisis because we have made poor financial choices or that we may suffer spiritually because we chose to ignore God’s voice and run like Jonah did. But I also stand on God’s word that clearly teaches us that some illness and pain in our lives is merely caused so that the work of God may be displayed in our lives. Read John 9:1-3
During the times that pain seems so prevalent in my life I find myself seeking answers more than ever before. If the pain is physical I purpose to find out why it is there and if there is some cause for it. A broken bone, an infection, a pulled muscle are a few things that may cause physical pain. Treating the pain is not going to heal the bone, infection or muscle. You need to treat the actual cause.
The same holds true for mental or spiritual pain or suffering. I can seek treatment for depression, anxiety, fear, addiction or many other symptoms but I will never be completely whole until I can find out what is causing the symptom.
As I have studied and sought the Lord over the past months and even years I have come to realize that most of the mental and spiritual symptoms I face are caused because of a breach in my relationship with my Lord. When I face times of loneliness, anxiety, depression or fear it is usually because I have failed to keep my relationship strong with my creator. I have allowed outside influences to sever my ties with Him. I have chosen to focus more on circumstances rather than to focus on God.
Psalm 42:5 “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”
For a time the writer of the above Psalm focused on self but came to the realization that turning the focus to his Savior and God changed everything. When symptoms well up within me I have a sure answer to the problem. Turn my spirit, my soul (mind, will and emotions) back to the Lord and find rest and refreshing. I am grateful that God has placed a built in warning system within me. He’s given me times of pain, suffering, sorrow, grief and even punishment to bring me back so my focus is on Him.
And, in those times when my eyes are on Him and my relationship with Him is strong yet the pain comes flooding into my soul, I still can stand strong and trust that even through this His Work Will Be Displayed!!
Have you faced pain in your life lately? Put your hope in God, and continue to praise Him while he works it out.
Considering It All Joy,