The Purpose of Pain

We live in a pain-averse culture. 

If you are aching from your workout, there's a remedy for that.  Slight headache?  No problem, there's a remedy for that, too.  No need to suffer, am I right? 

Lost?  Just take out your smartphone and get some driving directions. 

Speaking of smartphones, there's an infinite number of apps that you can download to reduce any amount of discomfort, trouble, adversity that you might be facing. 

You also don't have to listen to anything or anyone that upsets you either. 

If your university invites a controversial speaker to speak, just get a bunch of your friends together to protest the heck out that, my friend.  They'll disinvite them toot sweet --- if you are loud enough. 

Don't agree with the news you are getting?  Find a TV news channel that gives you exactly what you want to hear, and then watch that sucker to your heart's content. 

No one should be uncomfortable, right? 

Here's the trouble with all of this...  without pain, without suffering, without adversity, we struggle to grow and mature. 

Because it's in the difficult seasons of life that we discover resilience.  It's when we face a hardship that we often find courage.  It's when our faith is tested that we can discover deeper reservoirs of it within us. 

The Apostle Paul puts it like this: 
3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
The poet Tiffany Aurora makes it even more succinct and simple.  She writes:
Healing is always hidden inside of the wound. 
If you struggling today because of pain or suffering, loss or hardship... know this:  God did not cause your suffering.  Things happen.  Because of the way the world works, sometimes there is pain and sometimes we are wounded. 

But the path to healing can be found in the wound itself.  God is still in the resurrection business.  On the other side of the suffering, there is a new life, new maturity, new growth.  

May you discover a renewed sense of hope in this, and may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  


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