Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)
We know what it’s like to deal with pain. Maybe you’re walking through a painful situation right now, whether it is physical pain, relational pain, emotional pain, or spiritual pain. Or maybe, you’ve caused pain in someone’s life and you are dealing with the repercussions of your mistake. Whichever situation you find yourself in, be encouraged that God often uses our pain to bring growth and maturity to our lives. Specifically, there are three things pain can cause us to do that will help us grow in our walk with Him:
1. Pain serves to make us lean in. Sometimes, God uses the pain in our lives to move us to the place where we lay our head on His shoulder. We’re asking for His protection. We’re leaning on Him for support.
2. Pain serves to make us look up. When you go through unbelievable pain and you don’t have an answer or a resolution, you not only lean in, but you start looking up. You look up to say, “Jesus, if I’m going to make it through this, my hope is in you and you alone.” That’s a powerful position to be in.
3. Pain serves to make us look in. As we look up in our pain, we should also look in and say, “God, what do you want me to do now? What should my next steps be?” If you will ask Him, He will give you that guidance and direction. He’ll make you aware of any changes you need to make. And He’ll prune you and mold you into who He wants you to be.
With this in mind, let’s take to heart the words of James, and try to see the good in our pain. Pain brings us closer to God. Pain matures and develops us as believers. Pain reminds us in whom our hope and peace are found. And pain develops our perseverance and resilience so that we may continue to press on in pursuit of our Lord Jesus Christ.