How God Uses Our Pain
How we gain through our pain.
Text: Selected Scriptures
America is a pain conscious
nation. Everywhere you look we’ve got advertisements for pain relievers,
painkillers, and pain reducers. It seems like the whole world has got a headache
if you look at it from the advertising viewpoint.
The fact is that pain is a
part of life. To never have any pain in your life is to be inhuman.
But if you’re a human
being, you have physical pain, you have emotional pain and you have spiritual
Now the world has taught us
many myths about pain that just isn’t true. Some of them are harmless, but one
very destructive myth is this:
Myth: If you ignore
your pain it will go away.
The fact is God
doesn’t want us to ignore our pain. He wants us to discover the cause so
we can find real relief.
Pain is like a warning
light and it’s saying something is wrong in our life. Now is it wise to ignore
a warning light? No, it’s not. And it’s not wise to ignore your pain. It is
saying that something is wrong.
The truth is pain is a tool that God uses for good in our life.
Now the problem is we often
don’t understand it. We don’t realize what the good is.
We don’t see any purpose
in it and if pain doesn’t have any purpose, it’s very difficult to handle.
It’s much easier to handle when you see a purpose behind it.
In this study I’d like to
take you through five ways God used pain for good in our life.
God Uses Pain to Goad Us.
A. That means to motivate me. Goad means to spur into action. Pain spurs us into action like nothing else.
Example: I don't want to go to the dentist until the pain gets so
unbearable that the pain is greater than my fear and then I'll move into action.
Prov. 20:30 (GN) says, "Some times it takes a painful experience to
make us change.
Pain forces us to change when we don't want to change.
Pain really makes you want to be changed. Usually when we hit bottom,
then we're ready to change.
Prodigal Son in Luke 15:14-18 (GN) "…Spent everything he had…and was
hungry…at last he came to his senses and said…"I'll get up and go to my
The hunger pain finally motivated him to move
God uses pain to motivate us, to goad us. We'd rarely change if we didn't
have any pain.
God Uses Pain to Guide Us.
Like a bit in a horse's mouth, God takes pain and He turns us
in different directions because of the pain.
Psa. 119: 71-72 (LB) "…it was the best thing that could have happened to
me, for it taught me to pay attention to your laws.
David is saying that painful experiences are teaching tools.
whispers to us in our pleasure, but He shouts to us in our pain. He says,
"I want your attention."
Sometimes it doesn't take a lot of pain. You know, just a little rudder can turn
a big ship. Sometimes just a little pain in your life will lead you in a new
Hebrews 12:7 (LB) "Let God
train you, for He is doing what any loving father does for his children. Whoever
heard of a child who was never corrected?"
Sometimes the only way to train is through pain.
How many of you who are parents would rather not have to discipline you
How many of you parents, even though you'd rather not have to discipline,
sometimes you must discipline for your child's own good?
Why do you do it? You discipline
because of love.
is the same way. God doesn't like to allow pain in our life, but sometimes
God has to do it anyway to discipline us, to train us, to move us in the
not because He's angry. It's not because He's retaliating. It's not
because He doesn't like us.
things you're only going to learn through pain because you're a human
so God goads us, but He also guides us with the pain that we have in our lives.
But we never need to doubt God's love. His motive behind all of the pain is…It's
for our good.
God Uses Pain to Gauge Us
In other words, it's a measuring tool. God uses pain to see what we're
like on the inside.
People are like tea bags. You don't know what's in them until you drop
them in hot water. And you don't really know what's inside of you until you are
faced with a test of pain.
The Bible often compares pain to a refining fire.
Like a fire you heat up to refine gold or silver and as it heats the gold
or silver the impurities are burned off - the dross is burned off.
And so, God wants to use the pain in our life to burn off some
impurities, to burn off some things that shouldn't be there.
Isa. 48:10 (NIV) "I have tested you in the furnace of
It says I have tested you. Pain is a test. It exposes the real you. It
shows what you are like on the inside.
Do you know why? Because it's impossible to maintain an image when you
are in pain.
is more concerned about your integrity and your character than He is of
James 1:2-3 (MES) "…tests and challenges come at you from all
sides. (And) you know that under pressure your faith life is forced into the
open and shows its true colors."
James is saying, pressure reveals what you are like on the inside. Now
what does pressure reveal about your faith?
God Uses Pain to Guard Us.
Sometimes God uses pain to protect us from something worse happening to
us - sometimes far worse.
Sometimes He uses pain to protect us and prevent us from getting involved
in something we shouldn't be involved in.
God uses it to guard us. Sometimes pain can be a blessing in
you remember the story of Joseph in the Bible? The first chapter of his life is
like a horror story; for everything that could go wrong did go wrong. For forty
years he's neglected and he's rejected and he's sold into slavery by his
brothers and falsely accused of rape and he's thrown into prison. Then he's
forgotten in prison. His whole life is just one painful experience after
if you read the end of the story, you realize God was preparing him and through
those circumstances he ended up being second in command in Egypt and saved not
only Egypt, but he also saved Israel.
the end of his life he says, Gen. 50:20 (NIV) "You intended to harm me,
but God intended it for good."
will be people who mean to harm you that will come into your life. They may have
harmed you as a child. They may be harming you right now, emotionally,
physically or in some other way, but God says, "I have a plan and purpose
bigger than that and they may mean it for bad, but I mean it for good."
see, all along in Joseph's life, God was goading, guiding, gauging,
guarding and growing Joseph for greatness because, listen, there
is no greatness without some kind of painful experience.
so Joseph can say, "You meant it for bad, but God meant it for good. He was
The greater the pain, the greater the privilege.
God Uses Pain to Grow Us.
It's possible to grow
spiritually and emotionally when everything is going great and life's fantastic.
1. But…grow faster and far deeper in the dark phase of the
2. We grow deeper and far greater in the valleys rather than on
the mountaintops. That's just the
way we are made.
James 1:4 (LB), "For
when the way is rough your patience has a chance to grow.
So let it grow, and don't try to squirm out of your problems, then
you will be ready for anything, strong in character and complete."
1. Pain is the high cost of growth.
2. It's trite, but true.
There is no gain without pain. It just doesn't come any other way.
3. The fact is we want the product without the process.
4. What's the product? The
product is maturity, emotional stability, health and wholeness.
·God loves us too much to bless us too quick.
·Can we handle blessing without it becoming a curse?
To summarize all I've
presented in this lesson in one sentence it would be this:
The very thing that discourages you the most God uses to
develop you and it is not an accident.
James 1:4 (LB), "…So don't try to get out of anything
prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well developed."
Paul says it like this, talking about the pain he has experienced. I
Corinthians 1:9 (Ph), "This happened…..so we might learn to trust, not
in ourselves, but in God."
You see, you don't know, you really don't know that Jesus Christ is all
you need until Jesus Christ is all you've got.
want to encourage you in closing this study to do a little self-evaluation by
thinking about any hurt you're going through and the pain you're going through
and ask yourself this:
Father, are You using this to goad me- to motivate me into action-
to do something I know I ought to be doing anyway?
Are You using this pain to guide me - to point me in a new
Are You using this pain to gauge me, to help me measure myself and
see what I'm really like on the inside and see what needs to be changed? Is it a
warning light that something is out of order?
Are You using this pain to guard me - to protect me from something
worse - to keep me from wondering too far - to keep me dependant upon you?
Are You using this pain to grow me - to make me more like Your Son
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