I have had two people I know who were followers of Christ in the past few weeks go home to heaven. I was considering their lives and the immense testimonies they each were to the people around them in the face of imminent death. I was thinking about how everyone, at some point in their life, will go through pain. It really isn’t a question of “if” as much as it is a question of “when” because we live in a world where things don’t seem fair at times. When I went through my eye challenges a couple of years ago I thought that because I went through the “pains of life” that I brought glory to God just for going through them but I don’t think that is true now that I look back. I can remember sitting at home when I was out of work and instead of asking God for strength and to use my situation for HIS good I was wondering what it would be like to go blind and considering all the life adjustments I was going to have to make. (I would actually take showers with my eyes closed to see if I could function without being able to see. That’s how far I had come from faith in God taking care of me. Not good) I had a perfect opportunity to give God glory and instead I complained about the condition of my flesh.
Think about it; if everyone goes through hard times and you are just another person who made it through, how is that a reflection of God’s glory in your life? Maybe you just got lucky and barely survived like everyone else. The only thing that would set you apart is that your attitude lined up with God’s word and example of focusing on His greatness and not your life’s goofiness. There were definitely times where I was giving the example of a selfish person who was only thinking of myself and how the pain I was dealing with was affecting me and not thinking of my wife, my parents, my sister and the other people around me who love me and didn’t want to see me sick.
Appreciating pain leads to being thankful for pain. In other words; if I can appreciate, or value, what God is allowing to happen to me I may not be pleased about it but I can learn to be thankful for it. The degree that I appreciate pain is the degree that God can use pain for my good and not for destruction. The key comes from developing that trust relationship with God so that when pain comes I don’t see it as punishment but an opportunity to let Him shine through me and through the circumstances of life. Pain in life where we don’t see the healing we are expecting are perfect situations for people to watch our lives and see how we deal with pain and be encouraged by it.
So here is the reason for the blog post today: if you are going through pain now in life congratulations! You have the perfect opportunity to give God glory that you could never give him if everything was going well. If you are not going through something in life right now, you have the chance to develop your relationship and trust in Christ to a point that when your day of testing comes you will have a chance to lead others to Christ by a Godly attitude in middle of your storm. This stuff is never easy, but that’s why, as a man of God, I want to learn how to deal with pain so that even in the bad times I can give God glory in my life.