Focus: Knowing Christ
Psalm 73:26 (NKJV) My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
No matter how much pain you suffer in this life, you can always call out to Jesus and He will be there for you. He has promised never to leave you or forsake you. When you’re in a considerable amount of pain, you feel abandoned. You wonder why relief won’t come.
The Bible tells us over and over to rejoice in suffering. We think we can’t, but we can. The Lord wouldn’t have encouraged us to do it, if it weren’t possible. The reason we’re told to rejoice in suffering is because rejoicing in pain is giving God praise.
Giving God praise in all things includes praising Him through pain. You might wonder what person would praise God in their pain—and yes, it is a hard thing for any of us to do, but it’s what God wants. The reason He wants you to praise Him in your pain, is because He wants to be close to you. We are told in the Word of God that He dwells in praise. It’s His way of being close to those who love Him. The more we praise Him the closer He gets. So, when you are hurting and feel abandoned—that’s the time to praise Him all the more.
(read more below)
Now, you can listen and/or read!
If you’re having trouble vocalizing your praise, try writing it. Writing can be very therapeutic when you’re going through a lot of pain. Try to think of how much Jesus suffered.
Another way to cope with pain is to think of others. Jesus was thinking of others when He was hanging on the cross. He spoke to the thief who was crucified on a cross right next to His. Jesus took time out of His own suffering to tell that man that He would be with him that same day in paradise.
Jesus was also thinking about His mother. He didn’t want her to be left alone. He asked His beloved disciple, John, to care for His mother.
He thought of you and me when He said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
The kind of pain you are feeling may be nothing like the pain Jesus had to bear, but it is still your cross. In Matthew 16:24, Jesus said to His disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.” (NIV)
In that statement, Jesus was indicating an ongoing walk with pain.
The apostle Paul lived with pain and wrote in Philippians 3:10 (NKJV), “…That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death…”
2 Timothy 2:12 (KJV) says, “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him, He also will deny us.
We are called to pain. Some people would disagree with that, but anyone who studies the Bible and truly examines what it says, knows that pain and suffering are part of the purification of our faith. If we are going to become conformed to the image of Christ, then we need to ponder these things.
There are many kinds of pain and I don’t have to name them in order for you to know what they are. You have probably experienced many of them and may be in a serious season of pain right now. How interesting that you would be guided to read these words at this specific time.
The final analysis of the purpose of pain is that we may know Christ. Those who aren’t willing to suffer will never know Christ very well.
Declaration: I will find new strength by being willing to suffer pain. As I rejoice in my pain, I will know Christ.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.