Sunday, April 7, 2013

Discomfort and Pain

In the midst of hurt, difficult circumstances, and injustice it's hard to imagine God working these things to our good and for His glory.  But in Acts 8, we find Saul aka Paul, making havoc for the church by placing Jesus freaks (men and women) in prison. This scattering of believers was instrumental and was used as a springboard of the Gospel. 

Philip, for example, went to the city of Samaria and told the people there about the Messiah. Crowds listened intently to Philip because they were eager to hear his message and see the miraculous signs he did. Many evil spirits were cast out, screaming as they left their victims. And many who had been paralyzed or lame were healed. (Acts 8:5-7 NLT)
Persecution forced the believers out of their homes and with them went the Gospel. Sometimes we have to become uncomfortable before we will move. We may not want it, but discomfort, pain, injustice, etc. may be the best thing for us, because God is working in the midst of these hurts.  I am sure the Jesus freaks were stressed and worried. Their Messiah was just crucified, some believers were being stoned, others placed into prison, and others were scattered yet in the midst of this pain, we see later that God used the very man (Saul aka Paul) causing havoc to be a missionary for the Gospel of Christ.

The deep pain in our life prepares us for the deep love of God. This is a quote by a preacher in Durham, NC, that I heard several years ago. That quote ministered to me during one of the most painful periods of my life. During this painful period, I clung to the hope that God had a plan in the midst of my pain. This was a pain I chose. This was a decision I made that caused havoc in my life and there were times I lost hope. But I knew somewhere on the inside that God would make a way despite the bad choice I made. The bible says,
 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:28 NLT)
So today in the midst of uncertainty, pain, grief, discomfort, bad things that happen to us, bad choices etc. let the God of the universe comfort, restore, and bring hope to the deep pain in your life.  God will use your pain. God never wastes a hurt. Your past will serve a wonderful purpose if we will let it.

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