Living with pain in the will of God

14 08 2013

Pain gets a lot of bad press. We often treat it as an enemy. We tend to stay away and even run away from pain. I do. It rocks our boat, it invades our comfort zone. People get sued big bucks, because of “pain and suffering”. Most of the time it is not even physical pain and nearly all the time, it is subjective.

Paul was caught up into “paradise” (heaven), he testifies in II Corinthians 12:4. After that experience, lest he get proud of the vision, he was given a “thorn in the flesh” to “buffet him” (“to hit with a closed fist”). He prayed that it be removed, but it wasn’t. The pain continued, probably until he died. “Paul went from paradise to pain, from glory to suffering. He tasted the blessing of God in heaven and then felt the buffeting of Satan on earth. He went from ecstasy to agony, and yet the two experiences belong together” (Warren Wiersbee). God’s will for Paul was to live in pain the rest of his life.

Paul knew pain, not only from his thorn in the flesh, but II Corinthians 12:10 gives an extra list…

Infirmities – all kinds of suffering and weakness

Reproaches– ridicule, slander, insult, etc.

Necessities –  deprived of food, water, shelter, etc.

Persecutions – physical attack, abuse, injury

Distresses – extreme stress, due to inescapable problems

Check out his résumé’ in I Corinthians 11:23-28.

Sometimes the God of all mercy, in His sovereignty, leaves us in constant pain, in a world that seems to be closing in on us. This leaves Christians disillusioned and even guilt ridden when they feel that they are the cause of such suffering. Pain will cause many to shrink back from serving the Lord so that they could stay at home and lick their wounds. I have heard tell never to pray for patience because it will bring trouble (pain). In reality, pain could be just what our Heavenly Father ordered! Or allowed.

 

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31 08 2009

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