Scripture Motto

"Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." Matthew 5:16

Friday, April 25, 2014

Joyous Pain

Pain can come in all types of packages. Physical, emotional, and even spiritual pain affect all of us at some time or another. Sometimes all at once.

However, the Bible tells us in several different places and ways that pain is a certainty. It will come. It will be hard to endure. For me, pain always seems worst when uncertainties come into play.

How we handle them is the proof of our faith.
God's word also says that during those times, we are to rejoice and give thanks.

Here are words, phrases, and thoughts I glean from James 1:2-4 and 1 Peter 1:6-9:
  -  have joy, greatly rejoice, praise and give thanks
  -  in trials & tribulations & temptations
  -  in the testing of my faith
  -  while they produce endurance (steadfastness)
  -  resulting in perfection, thorough, without defects, lacking nothing
  -  complete, fully developed

Peter describes it as: “the  proof of your faith,
being more precious than gold which is perishable,
even though tested by fire, may be found to result
in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
 (verse 7 nasb)

Malachi wrote, “He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross. He will purify the Levites, refining them like gold and silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the Lord. (3:3 nlt)

Sometimes we have to go through the fiery furnace to be purified…to have our sins, our dross, removed. Including sins like doubt and fear. The process makes it purer and stronger. So, the hotter the fire—or more difficult the trial—the stronger we’ll be for the battles and challenges ahead.

As I wait for the next door to open in the proverbial uncomfortable, sweltering hallway, I find it difficult to praise the Lord and to keep praying. Nevertheless, I do.

I praise Him for the tiniest of things—like food and shelter, which aren’t tiny things to praise Him for. They’re things I take for granted.

I praise Him for the people in my life—my  husband, my children, my grandchildren, my parents, my siblings, my in-laws, my extended family, and all the friends I have from coast to coast.

I praise Him for the birds that sing, the sun that shines, the wheat fields of Kansas, the corn stalks of Nebraska, and the mountains of Montana.

I praise Him for the gracious gift of eternal life through His Son Jesus Christ.

Yes, I count my blessings. I name them one by one, and the uncomfortable pains of this life become more manageable as I give Him praise.

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say ‘rejoice.’” Philippians 4:4

Additional reading on the benefits of pain in the trials – 2 Peter 1:5-7; Rom. 5:3-5

"Stronger" sung by Mandisa

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