Christians have this fanciful idea that when we walk with the Lord everything should be great, our burdens should be light, and our physical bodies should be pain-free. We see in Paul’s life that this is not the case. Paul reveals truth about God’s purpose in pain.
1. Sometimes He allows pain to keep us humble.
2 Cor. 12:7-10 “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh,”
2. Even when the enemy is involved, God is still in control.
“the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.”
3. He uses our suffering to reveal His sufficiency in the midst of the pain.
“For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
4. It’s the cost of identifying with the sufferings of Jesus and experiencing His power in your life.
“Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
5. When we are physically and emotionally at our weakest, we experience His strength and power at higher degrees.
“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
LESSON - Most Christians would attest to the fact that God seemed closer during their times of trials. As we grow in our walk with the Lord, we realize that problems are a necessary part of life because they help us to lean upon the Lord. Through what other means would we learn application of God’s word and in turn, grow in our faith? Paul made it clear that he “chose” to take pleasure in his pain. Therefore, our joy is not contingent upon our circumstances. It becomes a matter of our will during our times of crisis. So the next time problems come, how will you respond? I hope that it will be with joy and faith, mindful that God is doing His work in and through you.