Read Job 36:5-16
Written by Ashley (wife to one great guy, mom to 3 rambunctious boys -- Ashley had a healthy baby boy last night! Congratulations from your Drops team!)
There are two types of pain that we all experience. Purposeful pain and pointless pain. Sometimes God allows obstacles that are meant to strengthen us. He sees our entire course and is so confident in us that he permits Satan to attack us. Other times we inflict pain upon ourselves that eats us up inside. We allow sinful and avoidable pain to take over.
Job experienced purposeful pain. He lost his seven sons and three daughters. He lost his servants and his livestock that undoubtedly provided him with great wealth. If that weren't enough, he was then covered in painful sores from head to toe. Yet he remained faithful.
His pain was designed to heighten his faith.
Our purposeful pain may not be quite as intense as Job's, but it's valid pain nonetheless. God may be allowing the death of someone close to you, lack of finances, not getting a call back after a job interview, a miscarriage, or a severed friendship to reveal his glory.
"...but the Lord's unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in Him." (Psalm 28:7). There may be a glorious purpose for your pain. Trust Him.
And then there is pointless pain.
I tend to cling to the feelings I experience when I feel I am wronged. It's my human nature and God and I are working closely together to overcome this unspiritual flaw. Satan loves to remind me of past hurt and replay it over and over again in my mind.
Honestly, I didn't even realize it was a problem until God began to subtly speak to me in different situations. Does this sound familiar? Is God trying to draw your attention to an area in your life that needs work? Eventually the message became loud and clear. I was authorizing pointless pain in my life. I was not forgiving the people in the past that have hurt me and I was made aware that I was being sinful.
"But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved." (Ephesians 2:4-5). God has forgiven us for our sins and brought us back to life. How selfish of me to accept such forgiveness but deny it to people that I love!
Slowly but surely, God is changing my heart. Without the power of the Holy Spirit, this transformation wouldn't be possible. But without the pointless pain brought on by my human nature, the transformation wouldn't be necessary. I finally had to come to a point where I took responsibility for the pain.
What pointless pain are you struggling with today? It could be as serious as an addiction, or just simply a bad attitude. Whatever it may be, identify it, pray about it, and work tirelessly with God to change.
Change and submission don’t mean that no struggles will find you. It means that when they do, you will be prepared and the Lord will fight your battles with you. The creator of heaven and earth is on your side.