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I think it’s safe to say that we all have experienced something in our lives at one point or another that has completely shaken us to the core- some of us may be going through it, right now, at this very moment.
Perhaps we need to start by giving consideration to the idea that there is a purpose to this pain. A purpose that is much higher than the disappointments of humanity, but instead-God’s will. What if the pain is part of His plan for us? Perhaps God has a reason for allowing pain to enter your life. I once heard Pastor R.C Blakes Jr. use this acronym in relation to God and our pain… P. A. I. N. Pay Attention I’m Near. I thought this was pretty profound way to describe the rationale behind pain.
If you’re seeking to grow spiritually and embark on a journey of true self-discovery, I say analyze what pains exist in your life- past and present. No matter how tough this task may prove to be, there is undoubtedly a purpose just waiting for you to uncover.
Pain Matures You
It is difficult to see pain as a gift from God, but it does offer you the opportunity to grow. Wisdom and maturity unfortunately come at a price. God uses your pain to shape you- to strengthen and prepare you for what’s to come.
Have you ever experienced a why me moment? A why me God pity party? You felt singled out right? Well maybe that was the point. Maybe God singled you out or chose you for a higher purpose that required a certain level of maturity first. What if?
Newsbreak people! For all of us chosen ones, pain is a prerequisite to greatness. These experiences are examples of Gods work in action.
Discovery of Inner Strength
God knows you better than you know yourself. Often we are not aware of the extent of our own capabilities until we are forced into situations where we have to draw on them. Often, when faced with a painful experience we surprise ourselves with our ability to stay strong and remain calm. God uses pain to reveal that strength to us.
Parents who care for sick or disabled children over many years are good examples of people who have to draw on amazing strength. All too often, these parents would be those whom you would least expect to have the strength of character to deal with such extreme and difficult situations.
Fosters Discipline and Self-Control
The pain of discipline and self-denial will help you grow strong physically, spiritually, and emotionally. You can trust that His discipline is always in your best interest. Discipline and self-denial are not easy, particularly in today’s world of materialism and pleasure. Yet we can grow so much from living a life of self-control.
There will be so many moments in our lives where fomo or fear of missing out will challenge our willpower. The pain of denying instant gratification can become a tremendous weight on our shoulders. Think about your current goals. I bet any one of your current goals requires some type of restraint or limitation. Maybe it’s the pain of restricting yourself from partying with friends so you can remain focused on taking your career to the next level. Or, maybe it’s the pain of reducing your spending to only necessities and not meaningless wants so you can save money to invest in a business. God’s will is still at work. Discipline nurtures personal growth.
View Failures as Life Lesssons
The pain of failure is hard to take. Often, it is hard to see how God is working when we don’t achieve everything that we set out for. Yet, God uses failure in our lives to help us understand true success, and that is contentment in life. You can learn a lot from your failures, you should try to accept them as learning opportunities and pointers towards success. I like to refer to failures as detours. Indirect routes to success. They will still get you to your destination, you just have to take a different route.
The Wrap Up
Whether your pain is big or small, pain is an ever-present constant in your life. Remember, you are not alone. Every human being suffers pain in some form or another, many times in the course of their life. Pain is a sign of our humanity, a sign that we were all created for a greater purpose. It may be difficult to be optimistic about the pain that occurs in our lives- trust me, I’ve dealt with my own bouts of painful life experiences. Take solace in knowing that It’s okay to be shaped by our pain, as long as we aren’t living a life where we are defined by it.
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