Purpose in the Pain
A young boy wandered over to me today after I taught the lesson at Vacation Bible School. He said, “If my mommy and daddy would just obey God, then they wouldn’t fight any more and I wouldn’t be sad.”
He looked about all of 9 years old.
I said, “That might be true. But you can’t control what they do. All you can do is choose yourself to do what God wants you to do. And pray for them.”
But wow that he saw that today.
And yah, he would definitely have one less thing to be seriously stressed about.
In Proverbs 11, God gives us a number of examples of this Truth. Like the Israelites, who God purposed to suffer for 400 years so His glory could be revealed in them, God has purpose in our suffering.
And it always pays to choose to follow Him – even if, like the Israelites, the benefits aren’t seen for 440 years. (400 years of suffering under Pharoah, and 40 years of wandering in the desert)
But we often don’t follow, because we think we know more than He does about it.
Or we doubt.
Or our version of God is too small.
Or we measure things by the world’s standards…thinking that if it’s all shiny, it must be good, like the Egyptians though it was all good.
The problem is that our refusal often negatively impacts those around us.
Like Jonah, who put all those sailors at risk on the boat before he had them toss him into the sea, when we choose to be unkind, disrespectful, unloving, cruel, immature, etc., we cause storms for those around us.
And the other problem is that the “all good shiny” life we have filled with stuff but not God always ends the same.
There’s that whole heaven or hell thing.
Do you know someone who was born blind? Or born with Downs Syndrome? Or another physical ailment? I love it that Jesus has a conversation with his disciples in John 9:1-3 about healing a blind man:
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
And when we think about Isaiah 43:7, which says, Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made,” We need to remember that God is in control of it all.
So if He’ll not only allow, but ordain that a man should be blind such that it would honor God, we need to realize that the hurts we are suffering are also for His glory.
I take great comfort in knowing that God Himself is in charge of my pain – my choice is whether I will obey Him, or delay His glory appearing.
Dare you today to look at your own circumstances from a different vantage point.
Dare you to trust Him with this.
And obey His Word, allowing yourself to be forever changed by it.
Double-dog-dare you to comment or share this with someone.
Happy to be on the journey with you.
In the book”When Heaven is Silent” by Ron Dunn, I read something that really got me to thinking.
“Does God have a right to do what He does? This is the first question I had to face the night we learned of Ronnie , Jr’s death. On his grave marker are these words from Psalm 115:3: But our God is in the heavens; he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.”
So sorry for your loss. I love what is on his marker, though. Beautiful.
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