Pain & Suffering Week 1 Facing the Furnace

pain and suffering copyJesus told us, “In this world you will have trouble.” (John 16:33) He was right. Suffering is a part of our fallen, broken world. Often we bring trouble on ourselves through foolish choices made out of desperation or naivety. But not always. People die from jumping off cliffs but sometimes the cliffs come down in an avalanche and wipe away innocent people. Others are deeply wounded by people who misuse their freedom and do awful things to others. History is rife with examples of humanity’s inhumanity toward one another.

What do we do with the scars we carry with us? It doesn’t really matter how the scars got there does it. They are there nonetheless. Knowing why won’t take them away.  They are there. So what do we do with them?  The answer is:  Cry out to God!  Turn to God with your pain and sorry, your questions and agony, and ask Him to redeem them. Evil meant them to destroy you but God can turn your scars to star – things that glorify Him and what glorifies God is to see HIs children made whole. It’s God’s desire to “wipe every tear from your eye.” (Revelation 7:17) It’s God’s plan to take evil’s intentions and turn them back on itself so your pain and suffering accomplishes the opposite evil had intended it for.  Your healing will be so thorough that one day you will no longer remember the pain and sorrow. Their memory will seem like but a dream, a momentary nightmare from which you will awaken in great relief to the glory you will experience in Christ.  (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

We all have experienced varying levels of pain, some light but others beyond imagination. We bear it and nothing will change that. The experience can make you bitter and endlessly wound you or you can invite God into your wounds and let Him carry them with you as He heals your memory, your body, your very soul and turns them into redemptive forces. Let Him!

Pastor Richard