Your Pain Has Purpose
Ephesians 1:11 (NLT)
11 Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God,[a] for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.
Proverbs 19:21 (NLT)
21 You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.
Psalm 57:2 (NLT)
2 I cry out to God Most High,[a] to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.
Jeremiah 32:19 (NLT)
19 You have all wisdom and do great and mighty miracles. You see the conduct of all people, and you give them what they deserve.
Hebrews 12:1-3 (NLT)
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.[a] Because of the joy[b] awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people;[c] then you won’t become weary and give up.
Romans 8:28 (NLT)
28 And we know that God causes everything to work together[a] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
It is amazing how many times we hear of people whose purpose has been realized, as a direct result of a tragedy, or some type of painful life situation. Many times after these tragedies, support groups, charitable foundations, and other organizations are started, that would not have been stated otherwise.
In 1988 I went through a very very painful and violent divorce. Little did I know that God would use my pain to start my speaking and writing career.
One Sunday while sitting in a Women’s Bible Class, I decided to share a bit of my story in response to the topic that our class was on that Sunday. Afterward, several women came to me sharing, how they had no idea that I had gone through so much. One lady even said to me “you are always so cheerful and bubbly, no one would ever know what you have been through”. She asked; how can you be so happy all of the time, when you have been through so much? My answer to her was how could I not be happy? God had been so good to me, to spare my life on more than one occasion. After all, that I had gone through, to be joyful was the only way to live, and the only way to express my gratitude for God’s amazing grace and protection. My heart was so full of joy because I was so grateful to simply be alive! I had no complaints.
After the class, our minister’s wife, who was teaching that day, came over and gave me a big hug. As we stood there talking she said, “we have our Ladies Retreat coming up in October, and there are so many women who would benefit from hearing your story. I would love it if you would be one of our speakers at the Ladies Retreat”. At that moment I knew that God was working. He was in the process of giving me a crown of beauty for my ashes. He was working good from my years of pain and struggle.
After a few weeks had gone by, it was finally time for me to speak at the Ladies Retreat. I would not have expected hearts to be moved by my story, but they were. Some women came up to me afterward with tears in their eyes, sharing that they too, had endured abuse, while others were still living in abusive marriages. My mind was blown away, because some of these women, were women that I was sitting beside every Sunday in worship. No one would have known when they walked into Church with their husbands, flashing their pretty smiles and wearing their gorgeous dresses that this was what was really going on at home.
These women had been silent because they thought they had to be, and just as I was, they were too embarrassed to let anyone know their truth. They were assuming guilt that was not even theirs to assume. They were hurting and God used my story to give them strength. When they could listen to someone who had not only survived the same type of physical and emotional pain they were going through but was thriving, it gave them hope that life could be different. My prayer is that it also gave them the courage to never allow themselves to be violated again.
God was showing me how the emotional and physical pain that I had endured, would not be wasted. He also showed me, that He uses everything for our good and for His divine purposes. If He allows it, there is a purpose in it.
God was helping others to heal through my speaking and He was also helping me to continue my own healing process through speaking. Through this process, I was also encouraged to write more. You see, I had been a person that had journal since I was a teenager. Little did I know, that my habit of daily journaling would be the therapy that God would use to get me through some of my darkest days. As I wrote about my pain day after day in my personal journal, I never knew that God was preparing me to become a writer.
Many great lessons and blessings have come from the painful years I endured. I certainly don’t want to wish painful experiences on anyone, but what I do want you to know about pain is this;
1. Every life will endure some pain.
2. If God allows pain in your life, it is for a reason that has a purpose and many times Kingdom purpose.
3. Your pain and God’s purpose will not only benefit you but others.
4. Trusting that God knows what He is doing, is the only way that your attitude can remain hopeful when you are experiencing pain.
5. God’s ways are higher than our ways. We may never understand why we must suffer painful or tragic things, but God will use those very things to make us stronger and to help us be a blessing to others.
P- Pain is not forever. When our pain has served its purpose it will end.
James 1: 2-4
2 Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
8 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. 19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. 20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children,[a] including the new bodies he has promised us.24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope[b] for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers[c] in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together[d] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
2nd Corinthians 7:9-10 (NLT)
9 Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. 10 For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.
2nd Corinthians 12: 9-10
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
A- Always remain prayerful during your time of pain. Ask God for strength for your journey.
1st Thessalonians 5:16-18
Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 6: 18
18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.[a]
1st John 5: 15
And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.
1st Chronicles 16:11
Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him.
2nd Chronicles 7: 4
Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices to the Lord.
James 5: 13
13 Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises.
He will listen to the prayers of the destitute. He will not reject their pleas.
I- Ignore the negative thoughts and lies that will come from the enemy during your time of pain.
Philippians 4: 8
8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
2nd Corinthians 10: 3-5
3 We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. 4 [a]We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. 5 We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.
Romans 12: 2
2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
N- Never lose sight of God’s love for you.
Ephesians 3: 16-21
16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave[a] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
Psalm 136: 26
Give thanks to the God of heaven. His faithful love endures forever.
1 Peter 4:12-13 (NLT)
12 Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. 13 Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.
1 Peter 4:19 (NLT)
19 So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.