He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. When he came to his senses, he said, “How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!” Luke 15:16-17
Everyone is a product of pain because we live in a world of pain—there is no utopia this side of heaven. Furthermore, unresolved past pain produces present pain. Conversion to Christ does not automatically wipe away all our pain, but He does gives us the tools—grace and truth—to heal hurts and bring wholeness to our hearts.
What is the source of your pain? Maybe your rebellious child went to the faithless far country to find themselves—and hopefully in the process they will die to self. They left home thinking they had missed out, but pray that once in the womb of the world they will miss the security, acceptance and love at home. Selfish children create reoccurring pain.
“Then I would still have this consolation— my joy in unrelenting pain— that I had not denied the words of the Holy One” (Job 6:10).
Your pain may be the result of experiencing the pain of another. You may be frustrated, because anger spews from a hurting heart and it’s hard to get around their wall of pain. Your compassion and understanding can scale a loved one's wall of shame and position you to enter into their pain with the love of Christ. Patient love diffuses pain's explosions.
Pain can be ignored for a season, but it will not be denied attention. Husbands and wives can preoccupy themselves with work and children, but when work goes away and the children grow up—how will they relate to each other? Therefore, invest in growing your marriage now, so you can genuinely understand, love and serve your spouse later.
“But as for me, afflicted and in pain— may your salvation, God, protect me” (Psalm 69:29).
Perhaps you are single and feel slighted from a hyper dysfunctional upbringing. Your parents did not communicate well, they constantly fought and your acceptance was based on your performance. You have layers of pain, because you are a product of a hurting home. Before marriage, seek out a Christian counselor to unpack your emotional baggage.
Above all else, invite your heavenly Father to enter into the pain in your heart. Apply the balm of His love and grace to your broken heart. Rest in the compassionate embrace of your sympathizing Savior Jesus. God created you with the need for attention, approval, acceptance, respect and encouragement. Embrace how He made you and receive His love. The One who suffered in pain on the Cross—to heal pain—ultimately resolves your pain.
“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering” (Isaiah 53:4a).
Prayer: To what pain do I need to administer the grace of God? Whose pain can I enter into with compassionate love and understanding?
Related Readings: Proverbs 15:1; Jeremiah 15:18; Matthew 4:24; 1 Peter 2:19
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