Pain and Growth

Exodus 1:12But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.”

“I am doing this for your own good.”

“This will hurt me a lot more than it will hurt you.”

These are seemingly dubious statements made by parents right before they discipline their children. The pain inflicted as a means of correction, is biblical.

Proverbs 23:13-14Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.”

We, as children of God must be corrected from time to time – it reveals God’s love toward us.

Hebrews 12:6-7For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?”

Revelation 3:19As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”

So, to rebel against the correction God allows in our life is to reject His love toward us. When that time of affliction comes – and it always will – we must accept it in the right perspective.

First, God knew this was coming your way.

He allowed the temptation or trial to enter your life. He deemed you worthy.

At first, it may seem overwhelming. The psalmist put it eloquently:

Psalm 88:7-9 “Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah. Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth. Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: LORD, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee.”

Some seek to shift the blame onto someone or something. We often play to the role of the victim. There have been times when I have blamed God for the situation and circumstance I had found myself.

I was angry. Angry at God. I even yelled at Him.

As I was walking and lamenting the place I was in, I blamed Him for not warning me, not telling me or even stopping me from doing something so foolish. After I had spent my energy on my rant toward Heaven, I heard God ask, “Are you done now?”

I had thought God had shut up Heaven against me. I did not hear His voice immediately, and I heard the accuser tell me that God was angry with me; that I had lost His favor and was now out of the family – mainly – I was a failure. But God had heard me:

Exodus 3:9Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.”

Just like the children of Israel, He had not left me for dead – though I often wonder why.

Often, the pain is either self-inflicted, of God-allowed. In either case, God has not left, nor will He forsake. Our guilt and shame over our mistakes and the pain inflicted by others can become the tools used to suck the life out of our spirit.

The old devil knows and has known for some time what our weaknesses are. When the time of correction comes, he leverages his lies against us.

“How could God love someone like you? After what you’ve done, He’s done with you!”

In our shame and our guilt, we entirely agree with him; often to the place we take the whip from his hand and begin to beat ourselves up with the devil’s lies.

Moses had to be reminded just Who he was speaking with:

Exodus 4:11-12And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.”

What looks impossible to overcome is not impossible with God.

Mark 10:27And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.”

We must remind ourselves:

1 John 4:4Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

Philippians 4:13I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

The United States Marine Corps has a motivational statement –

“Pain is just weakness leaving the body.”

If man were the sole controller of his destiny – that may very well be true. But, often, pain is the revealer of weakness that allows God to be strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Knowing these truths does not take away or even lessen the pain you may be experiencing, but my prayer is that we can see together that the pain has a purpose.

It is for our good and for our growth.

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