DEALING WITH PAIN
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor and theologian when the Nazis took over Germany. He worked against the Nazi regime in any way he could. He was arrested, imprisoned and eventually hung. His writings have been a source of encouragement to many undergoing trials. In “The Martyred Christian” he wrote the following:
The poet Stifter once said, “Pain is a holy angel, who shows treasures to people which would otherwise remain forever hidden; through him people have become greater than through all the joys of the world.” It must be so and I tell myself this in my present situation over and over again. The pain of suffering and of longing, which can often be felt even physically, must be there, and we cannot and need not talk it away. But it needs to be overcome every time, and thus there is an even holier angel than the one of pain; that is, the one of joy in God.
What would life be like without pain? If there is no pain there would be nothing to warn us of illness, injury or infection. Without knowing about and caring for these things death would come. Emotional pain also motivates us to take positive action. Guilt, fear, remorse, loneliness, insecurity, etc., are there to motivate us to do what is necessary to remove them. A child that grows up but faces no difficulties or challenges will be immature and spoiled and unable to cope with real life. Even Jesus learned obedience by the things He suffered (Hebrews 5:8-9). What are you learning from your unwanted pain? (April 2, 2018 Doylestown, PA)
James 1:2-3 “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance”
2 Corinthians 12:9 ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”
Ask God to show you the things He wants you to learn from what you are facing in life. Write them down!
Thank Him that one day there will be no more pain or suffering forever! Until then trust God that He has a good reason for it.
INDIA UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST: India is full of suffering, poverty and pain. I know it breaks God’s heart to see it. Yet He uses it to show people their need of Him. Perhaps that is why so many in third world countries are coming to Jesus for salvation. Prosperity in the West (USA & Europe) masks our need of Jesus. Perhaps if we faced the same living conditions here they face in India then many more would come to Jesus and live for Him. Pray that many in India, and in the West as well, find Jesus as the means to handle pain in this life and to avoid it I the next.