How to Change Your Pain into Purpose
Pain is real. Everyone feels it. The bitterness of a divorce. The aggravation of a health issue. The loss of a child. The disappointment of poverty.
How can you turn your pain into purpose?
Melanie and I have been through a lot of pain in our 42 years together. Chronic illness in a child. The loss of a grandchild. The hurts and pressures of pastoring.
The great news? We have PURPOSE.
“We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).
Here is the “perspective of purpose”:
1. God did not cause my pain.
- Perhaps I caused my pain! My negligence, ignorance, stubbornness or stupidity caused it. Perhaps OTHERS caused my pain through wrong decisions about me. Perhaps Satan caused my pain because he hates my wonderful fellowship with God.
- God didn’t cause it. He “causes it to work together for good.” Job never blamed God. My first perspective in all pain is that God is going to turn it around for my good and His purposes.
2. I have grace for my pain.
- The Lord told the apostle Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9). Pain can never overcome purpose!
- Grace is not something that allows me to sin all I want. Grace is God’s ability within me to withstand any and every temptation, trial, and test. Paul, in the midst of great pain (in prison), wrote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13).
3. My pain will serve His purpose.
- Joseph’s brothers caused all his pain (perhaps Joseph contributed a little superiority!). Years of slavery and imprisonment later, he could say, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive…” (Gen. 50:20).
- His PAIN had PERSPECTIVE. He had forgiven his brothers, moved on into his opportunities, and saved his entire family. Take a long, eternal look at your pain. Put it out into eternity. It becomes, as Paul said, “momentary, light affliction.”
4. Pain produces character.
- “Troubles produce patience. And patience produces character. And character produces hope” (Rom. 5:3-4, NCV). “Character” is used of a statue. I have a fountain statue of two children and an umbrella outside my bedroom window. The water pours on them day and night and they never change.
- That’s “character.” It is the inward “concrete” that doesn’t change. Don’t get bitter with pain, get better. Troubles and pain can’t “alter” you. They do, however, “form” your character into a strong, immovable resolve to serve the Lord faithfully until your dying breath.
Praise in your pain! God didn’t cause it, but He knows all about it. His plan is greater than your pain. Pain cannot separate you from His love.
Overcome “pain” with “purpose.”