Joy Despite Pain

05
Help me to find joy … I’m in pain
(Part 4 :  Joy Despite Pain)

Telling half the truth is NOT the truth; rather, this is a LIE. And that’s how Satan keeps deceiving us: by showing us only one aspect of the situation (Sufferings) without making clear the other (Joy).

We tend to think of others pain and sufferings, imagine ourselves in their place. By doing so, we commit two dangerous mistakes. First, we falsely judge the degree of pain & how unfair life is, in general, from our own perspective; forgetting that each person’s pain is his/her & only that person can handle it. Secondly, we tend to consider one side of the situation by focusing on that pain; not knowing that there’re hidden fruits growing slowly in those people’s lives, it only needs time to bloom.

(1) Joy in eating the fruits of pain ( Fruits of suffering )

1Find the real meaning of my life
Usually we get occupied with our numerous commitments, achievements, relationships & all other life aspects, but in times of pain, we start to question the core of life & our whole existence, helping us to get back on the right track & find our personal purpose.

2Develops our character
Struggles & hard times produce what normal days cannot provide: a character
“ And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”  ( Romans 5 : 3-5 )

 3Know the truth about ourselves & God:
We tend to believe that we’re strong and so powerful that we are in control, but in our pain we just happen to figure out the ugly facts about ourselves:  weak, fragile and fallible. Hence, we happen to discover – through pain – the magnificent  truths about God : Mighty, Forgiving & In control..etc.

 4Sharpen current talents & stimulate new ones
David the psalmist wrote his most profound psalms amidst sufferings, while running away from Saul & his persecutors. Beethoven, Van Gogh, Victor Frankl, Oprah Winfrey, … a very long list of musicians, artists, painters, authors, writers & celebrities faced severe hardships during their lives; it is obvious  that if it were not for these hardships, we would not have heard about them nor their great achievements. God has enabled us to change suffering into creativity, success and inspiration.

“What does not kill you, makes you stronger”  – German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche

 (2) Joy in believing in these truths :

Because pain is inevitable, God is faithful to equip us with various tools to help us endure pain & suffering :

1You’re not alone facing all this:
” Even to your old age, I am He, And even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear ; Even I will carry, and will deliver you” (Isaiah 46: 4)

2Joy in knowing that God loves you & wants to cherish and protect you; not to harm you:
” For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope
( Jeremiah 29 : 11 ) , ( Isaiah 16 : 10 ), ( Romans 8 : 28 )

3Joy In hoping for the future (Let Go & Let God)
No matter how things were in your past, God can bring the best out of the worst, while waiting: ” Let go & Let God take the lead” :
“Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness, And rivers in the desert.”  ( Isaiah 43:18-19 ) (NKJV)

4Joy is the fruit of the Holy Spirit:
Ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit :
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. ” (Romans 15:13)

5Joy in finding the purpose of your life:
Ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit :
” For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. ”  (Ephesians 2: 10)

6Joy in knowing that pain is temporal:
Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30 : 5 ) ,
( Hebrews 12 : 2 ) , ( Romans 8 : 18 & 28 ).

7Joy in deciding to choose Joy :
We cannot control people or situations, but we can make a choice: we can choose Joy – simply by believing in all the above mentioned  truths. Despite his imprisonment and isolation in the roman prison, the Apostle ” Paul ” was capable of writing a letter of Joy (Philippians): he was able to experience real peace & joy even in prison.

Serenity Prayer :
God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking , as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is, Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Amen.    

* To read all parts from this Article ; please click here :