How to See the Purpose in Your Pain
“[Jesus] did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary, because of the joy that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right side of God’s throne.” Hebrews 12:2 (GNT)
If you’re very far into adulthood, you’ve probably learned that you can handle more pain than you ever thought. In fact, it probably took going through difficult times for you to realize just how much you could handle.
Human beings can stand an enormous amount of pain if they can see a purpose in the pain and a reward past the pain. That's exactly what Jesus did when he went to the cross. He was in excruciating pain, but he looked past the pain to the reward in heaven. He had an eternal perspective.
Jesus wasn't just looking at the here and now. If he was, his future would have looked bleak, and he would have despaired. But Jesus looked past the pain to the reward in heaven. He valued that eternal reward far more than any temporary relief on earth.
When you’re in pain and just looking at the here and now, you can get discouraged and depressed. Sometimes you may feel like giving up. The only way you're going to make it through the toughest times in life is to look past the pain to the reward in heaven.
Hebrews 12:2 says, “[Jesus] did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary, because of the joy that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right side of God’s throne” (GNT).
Jesus endured the shameful pain on the cross because he knew of the joy that would be his afterward. The greatest joy for Jesus—and us—is the hope of an eternity in heaven, where we will be in God’s presence forever.
When you get the mind of Christ, you begin to think the way Jesus does—about your past, your present, your future, God, life, death, sin, salvation, your friends, and your confidence. You realize there's more to life than just here and now, and that gives you the strength to endure.
Talk It Over
What do you hope in the most? What gives you the greatest comfort?
How can you remind yourself of what God has promised you in heaven so that you can endure through your pain?
What kind of purpose could God have in letting you endure pain?
In this season of uncertainty, how does having the mind of Christ and the hope of eternity shape your perspective?
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This devotional © 2020 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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