Greedy Gratitude 30 Day Devotional
Day 21 - Pain and Suffering
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28 ESV
Beauty in pain. Pain is one item that is universal to all human beings. It may not be the same pain. For some, it's the loss of a loved one, a divorce, physical, rejection. I could go on. But, it's there. It's that ache in our stomach, it's that gnawing feeling of unwanted change. Pain is real. We all deal with it differently... addictions, ignorance, anger, hurting other people. Those are the negative ways of dealing with pain.
But, the more negativity we put in pain, the more it grows and festers into the unbearable. We can become lost and miserable, wallowing in self-pity and despair.
Pain is real. As long as there is sin in the world, there will be pain. Pain reminds us of the ultimate sacrifice - Jesus on the cross. You see, the first human being to ever experience the pain of the penalty for sin (our sin) wasn't of this earth. It was God who experienced it first. So why don't we go to Him, the healer of our pain? Why do we go to the things of this world? It's quite simple, when we go to God, we have to go through that ugly first pain again, but once on the other side we are free. However, sometimes that pain is worse than the initial hurt. So we decide to just resolve it without the help of the Ultimate Healer, walking through life wounded and defeated.
Physical pain is different, that we can't work through, and sometimes we feel that it's impossible to keep pushing through. Please push through, seek the One who erases all hurt and pain. It may not be taken away, but He is still there and is always speaking to us; it's up to us, whether physical or not, to hear Him through the pain.
Guys, I hate working through pain. It causes so much anxiety. But, as I get older, I want the person I become to mirror Jesus, so I'm dealing with the pain.
On the other side of pain is freedom! It may be a long journey, it may be excruciatingly hard to get there, but it is so worth it my friends.
The story of the Prodigal Son (check out the Greedy Gratitude series for a awesome sermon on it), is a story of pain and forgiveness. The son left his family forsaking all he had known for a life of sin, wounding his dad and family in the process. And when he comes back, quite alone and lost, his father doesn't reject him, complaining the pain is too much. He accepts him and loves through the pain. (Please check it out in Luke 15:11-32, for the whole story).
Pain is real, but so is God. Forgiveness is real. Healing is real. Freedom is real.
The holidays are the hardest for a lot of people, as their pain stems from family. Don't let your pain hold you from being with family. Because the moment you reject opportunity for healing, you are being prideful and pride is destructive.
I'm so glad we serve a God who understands our pain and wants to see us on the other end.
I pray these next few weeks are filled with healing and joy, and transformation and hope, and love and freedom, despite the obstacles and the hurt!
Action Step: Today, ask God for forgiveness and to help you sort out the mess. Take time to journal and see what God wants you to work out. I promise it won't be everything at once, that would be too painful. Ask Him to heal your bitterness and pride and ask forgiveness for going to the world and not Him.
Now, start praying for the person or persons who hurt you. Even if it's "turn my heart to forgiveness God". This is going to be hard; and the pain will start to come back. A lot of times we just need someone there. If you feel more comfortable, grab someone you trust who loves Jesus and have them walk it out with you.