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Pain is the Greatest Teacher

Pain is misconstrued as an enemy, but take a deeper look today and be encouraged to its true purpose


"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds..” (James 1:2-4)

There is so much pain in this world and so much anguish and heartbreak. We see it in all forms of our day to day: concerning our health, faith, finances, physical situation, heart, mind, spirit, relationships and more. Life likes to give and take away. It likes to surprise us and scar us, disappoint us or sometimes just meet our expectations exactly. Pain and hardship, let’s be honest, is normal and expected. We like to dream sometimes that one day we can finish fighting this one fight and then it’ll all be solved and finally pain will subside permanently. But unfortunately, another comes. Another hit, another slap. Some ache more than others, some scar, others bleed. Pain is something that we all relate on, and surprisingly, something we all need.


The Bible tells us to consider it ‘pure joy’ when pain comes. Well, first of all, it mentions it needing to be pure. That is truly the strongest type of joy. Being pure means that there is nothing else attached to that joy, no other forms or even inklings of doubt to that joy. Just purely and completely happy with what we face.


Well, I don’t know about you but I can certainly say that when pain hits my life, pure joy is certainly not my first instinct. Even just a little joy in itself is hard to muster sometimes. So how are we supposed to have pure and complete joy without even the slightest hint of distress or sadness?


There was a tougher season I had to go through recently and surprisingly enough, the minute I came back up for air, the first thing I did was smile. Smile not just because of the relief that it was ending, but I smiled at the amazing evidence I could see. Evidence of true joy. Although I ached and cried so much through that season, an overflow of joy surrounded me after, so much so that it turned into an enormous amount of gratitude. So I learned that what James means through pure joy doesn't mean we are not allowed to hurt or that joy replaces that pain in the moment, making us numb. If anything, it’s good and necessary for us to face the pain, feel it and allow it to sink in completely, otherwise, as they say, resist and it persists. What James means is that remembering that final joy will motivate us through the process of the pain and get us through it. It is a reminder of how we will then look at that pain when time heals the wound: we will look back with joyful gratitude.


It's good and necessary for us to face the pain, feel it and allow it to sink in completely, otherwise, as they say, resist and it persists.

Pain is something that is always misconstrued as negative because it causes injury. Hurt is uncomfortable and uneasy, and it does not allow us to relax or forget the physical things and merely ‘fly’ into a life of the ideal. It holds us down, it tears at our ego, steals our peace and plays with our patience.


But unfortunately, you know what they say, the best things come out of pain. So we need it. The best books are written from a place of pain, the best songs, the best art, and the strongest relationships are always the ones that experienced the worst. Pain is the source of greatness. In the kingdom of God, pain births greatness, strength, power and endurance. Hence why God keeps allowing it, maybe even sometimes causes it.

The most common question man will ask himself when pain hits is “Why?”. Why do I have to go through this? Why would God allow this? Why me? But instead of why, let’s take a moment to consider “Thank you”.


There is a reason why the Bible tells us to be grateful when we face trials, and that’s because in truth, pain is good. Pain is more than just a rod hitting our back to merely torture us while we bleed. Pain is like a pill that may not taste great initially and may even make us gag for a second, but soon enough our whole body will be thanking us for the extra strength it provided. So much so that, although we may not admit it, we’ll almost come to want another one.


When a tooth comes in, there’s pain, but later you’re able to eat due to what that pain brought you. Pain is never wasted. At least not by God. Sometimes we can waste pain by turning it into resentment and anger instead but when we give that pain to God, He always turns it into something extraordinary.


I learned so much about pain lately. I had people that, in layman’s terms, hurt me. I was confused in the moment and lost, felt uncertain as to why God would allow something so painful yet seemingly have it disguised as blessing. I wished I had enough strength that those hits wouldn’t even phase me. Yet, as much as I wished to deny it, it did phase me. In fact, it practically broke my heart and everyday was like a struggle to accept that this was now my life. It was as though a new reality had been birthed and I didn’t know how to go back to being my old self again. There are many of us that go through these seasons: they can stand as heartbreak, grief, loss and more. But I promise you, even in the hardest of it, there will be gratitude. No, we may never look back and be thankful a loved one died or that we lost something of great value, but with God, we are able to look back and be grateful because that pain turned us into something greater. Stronger. More like Christ.


God's concern with us is not just our happiness, but our holiness.

I am not who I was because pain allowed me to grow. I can even say that if I had to go back, I would gladly go through it all over again. That’s because I’m so much better off now than I was without that experience. It's all about remembering that the pain is good for us. Because God's concern with us is not just our happiness, but our holiness.


I pray that today you are encouraged and uplifted in knowing that the pain you are suffering through or have gone through is not accidental, pointless or wasted. The Lord can and always faithfully allows it to grow you, bless you, transform you. Pain in this world is temporary and good for us. The pain that we need to avoid at all costs is the pain that is eternal, and that is the damnation of a lost soul. So surrender yourself to Jesus today, give Him your pain and allow God to transform it. He will use the temporary pain of this world to take away the endless torment of damnation, and secure you a place of eternal and pure joy.


He will use the temporary pain of this world to take away the endless torment of damnation, and secure you a place of eternal and pure joy.

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