And most importantly, God was working on Joseph’s own heart, testing and probing and forming a young man who simply would not waver from his faith in God, even if life took him to the bottom of the dungeon, or the height of power and prosperity. This doesn’t mean that the Bible doesn’t tell us how to think about our suffering now, it actually equips us. This defiance is what brought death, pain, struggling, and all those things that come simultaneously with sin. If someone you love gets orders to deploy to a war, you’ll know the truth of the old saying, that “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” If you’re the one forced to leave, the pain of separation will greatly increase the intensity of training, preparation, and work. Pastor and author Ron Mehl, who battled leukemia for more than 20 years before dying in 2003, brought first-hand insight to pain’s purpose in the life of Joseph (Meeting God at a Dead End). We, like Cain must battle our fear, insecurity, shame, resentment and anger. While our natural reaction to pain is to avoid it, get rid of it, or numb it; we need to realize that God allows pain. His focus, energy, and resilience were nearly frightening. Three times Paul was shipwrecked, and he once spent a full day – “a night and a day,” as he puts it – on the open sea. I remind myself that I am not supposed to have all the answers, or know, without a … God never wastes our pain. Sin lurks at each of our doors. Perhaps we should note that Paul didn’t hear from the Lord very often. God Uses Pain to Gauge Us. Perhaps a person going through the excruciating process of cancer treatments could tell us how bad pain can become. You need to realize that you’re not big enough; you’ll never make it without depending utterly upon Him and going in His strength. God has a purpose for everyone. Pain is an Indicator that Something is Wrong It takes a tremendous step of faith to pray to a God who allows the suffering and say, “God, I don’t know the purpose of this pain, but I trust you to have a purpose in it.” If you've gone through a hurt, he wants you to help other people going through a similar hurt. But at the moment, Paul only knew the pain of having to leave his home and ministry in a hurry. Try being stoned, scourged (five times), and being beaten with fists, rods and words. This still does not ease the oyster's suffering. Sign up for Beliefnet's Bible Reading newsletter. Only we do that. After that next miraculous message, it would be another six years, at least, before the next, and according to the record of Acts, there was never another one. We already know that “pain happens.”. But make no mistake about it. God never wastes a hurt! 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ESV / 2 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful. Look at the passage we just read. That's a long time to spend parked on a dead end. 1) Pain has a purpose. He hadn’t always had enough food, clothing, sleep, or friends. Paul did, and you can. “Why would God allow COVID-19?” Paul also had a vision, however, of a man from Macedonia (Acts 16:9) and an angel of the Lord (Acts 27:23–24). Pain is of this world, not of God. To give us the existence He intended for us: light and burden-free. God didn't stop Adam from sinning (see Genesis 3:1-9 in context). One way is to curse God because of our suffering and the other is to praise God, even in the midst of our suffering. Now you ask, why does God allow pain, suffering, and failure in our lives? The Bible doesn’t diminish our experience of suffering. Keep the Faith! On three separate occasions Paul pulled out all the stops to ask God for a miracle of his own. God wouldn’t have allowed pain into your life if He wasn’t going to use it to prepare you for the next level of your destiny. As God worked, the waiting was hard for Joseph … bitterly hard. Have you noticed how people listen to people in pain with a special intensity? Paul asked again. God states clearly that He is sovereign over everything and His plan will stand (Isaiah 46:9–11). Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. God won’t bring the pain, but He will use it to promote you if you’ll keep your heart right. Scripture tells us, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). Sometimes the emotional or physical pain of suffering is prolonged. In that place, only God can meet the need, or heal the heart. Unfortunately, it is in that place of greatest pain, and there alone, that the discovery can be made. 4 Reasons Why God Doesn't Always Answer Prayers for Healing. Having just heard what efforts even St. Paul had to make to run in the Christian race, and how terribly their fathers in the wilderness had failed to meet the requirements of God, they might be inclined to throw up every effort in despair. And yet billions have and are reading Paul’s letters, memorizing passages and following the instructions as if Paul was still preaching his passionate message in our culture. He could prove the power of God even more with the miracles that were so common in Ephesus, for instance (Acts 19:11-12). God Never allows pain without purpose. That’s why it’s imperative that when we are going through a time of trial and suffering that we remember how much God loves us. Life starts with a good slap to a baby’s bottom, and in some aspects, goes downhill from there. Anger at sin is good (Mark 3:5), but anger at goodness is sin. He could plant more churches. He could win more converts, raise more money or mentor more disciples. We'd love to hear from you. * Indicated Required Field See our Privacy Policy. A cancer patient will come in after being diagnosed and they look fairly healthy in the beginning but once treatment starts I can not stress enough how it wreaks havoc on their bodies. Yet, God will carry us through some of the darkest seasons of our lives to show His incredible love for us. Imagine the headlines from the next morning, when details of the midnight song, earthquake, and jailer’s conversion became known! Jesus told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” The message, and the messenger, gave Paul a tremendous boost. To read Paul’s letters to those churches, one might come away with the idea that Paul was continually frustrated, and that his work wasn’t very successful. In him is light, and no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). But when we engage with Scripture and understand what the Bible has to say about suffering, it can broaden our perspective and enable us to make sense of our circumstances in a new way. It was a miraculous salvation experience, complete with a blinding light and the thunderous voice of Jesus, sending Paul into three days of repentant fasting. His “resume of suffering” appears near this very passage (2 Corinthians 11:23-29), and it includes multiple imprisonments, beatings, floggings, canings, life-threatening experiences, a stoning, shipwrecks, and a “night and a day” floating in the open sea. We’re not fond of pain, or even slight discomfort. Few Jewels capture the eye quite like a perfect pearl. Sometimes God miraculously heals people from chronic pain; other times He does not. Here are the many faces of Christian pain. Before this moment, he wouldn’t have shared left-over bread with a Gentile, much less a message of hope and love. Paul didn’t get a pass from pain. 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