Joy in Pain

Those with any kind of pain in their body may recognize when storm systems are arriving within a day or two. I have experienced this phenomenon in various ways from joint and muscle pain to strange quirks such as pressures or tingling in my brain I can’t explain. Over the years I’ve picked up on these signals as if it was a weather report coming in. I’m also reminded if I eat something that increases inflammation. Sometimes I have inflammation and pain no matter what I eat.

We do know, however, that pain is actually a GOOD thing. We need pain to point out when something isn’t right. Without it, we would be far worse. In fact, the worst part of the disease of leprosy is the loss of pain. Without pain, diseased individuals find themselves losing hands and feet because they don’t recognize when they run into something or step onto a dangerous item.

Pain is so unwelcome, and yet we can be glad with how it serves us. And this is not just in bodily form, but in emotional, mental and spiritual as well. Pain is a warning system! So beyond the physical, what if storms are reminders of his love? What if all pain is a signal to tune into his voice? What if trials are reminders to trust?

I’m asking myself today: What if he allows all these things in order that I stay with him, and not drift away in a false peace? If I continually felt good, would I rely so much on God? Would I have hope, if I thought I already had all I needed? If this is the case, then the joy is in the great mercy of God to allow these pain signals so that I will grow strong in him. This is such great love from him, beyond our comprehension.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete lacking in nothing.  James 1:2-4

How can you begin to steward your pain, whether it be physical, emotional, mental or spiritual? The body as a whole is affected no matter where the pain is. Are you letting the pain serve you as it was intended or is it mastering your every action? I don’t know all the answers, but I do know we can trust in the Lord and find joy in his purposes even through the hurts. Satan will try to take that pain and use it to harm our thought patterns and belief system about who God is. God will use them to change us, and bring us freedom when we allow him to work his love in us. Which will you choose?

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