Morning Devotions: Pain at Work
Pain at Work
(from Streams in the Desert: Costly Glory - full text linked at the bottom of this page)
A lot of good insight from this day's devotional. Following is a portion of it:
I even reckon all things as pure loss because of the priceless privilege of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord – Phil 3:8
"Shining is always costly. Light comes only at the cost of that which produces it. An unlit candle does no shining. Burning must come before shining...Burning suggests suffering."
We are apt to feel that we are doing the greatest good in the world when we are strong, and able for active duty..."
When we are called aside and can only suffer; when all our activities have been dropped, we could feel that we are no longer of use..."
...If we are patient and submissive, ...we are a greater blessing to the world in our time of suffering and pain...
We are burning now, and shining because we are burning. ."
Pain brings us to a Deeper Knowledge and Appreciation of Christ
Christians have a basic knowledge of who God is. Pretty much of the group feel they have a good bearing on God's Person. But pain, undoubtedly deepens our knowledge of and attachment to our God.
I found my most meaningful moments of communion with God during trials, testings, and failures. Seeing God in a different light and discovering His Person beyond the Academics is so life-changing for me, and this happens at each painful and scary milestone.
"10 And this, so that I may know Him [experientially, becoming more thoroughly acquainted with Him, understanding the remarkable wonders of His Person more completely] and [in that same way experience] the power of His resurrection [which overflows and is active in believers], and [that I may share] the fellowship of His sufferings, by beingcontinually conformed [inwardly into His likeness even] to His death [dying as He did];" Phil 3:10 AMP
Pain Qualifies us for Ministry
Our pain and suffering qualifies us for ministry towards those who are yet to undergo what we are going through. This is one of the best reasons for holding up in times of difficulty, to think that the endview in all this will be, benefiting others and not just myself.
"4 who comforts and encourages us in every trouble so that we will be able to comfort and encourage those who are in any kind of trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." 2 Corinthians 1:4
Production Always Has a Cost
An output, A finished product comes from something. There is the 'costing' period. A product of excellent quality undergoes a much more complicated manufacturing stage as compared with basic, generic products.
For the Christian, greater spurts of growth are forged during periods of pains and difficulties. The most valuable learning lessons occur during a period of hardship, testing, and correction. What's most comforting to know and ponder about is the fact that God will not allow unnecessary pain in our lives. There is no 'needless' suffering that ever comes upon a child of God. Even the most uncomfortable period of discipline is never served without a purposeful end.
11 For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems sad and painful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness [right standing with God and a lifestyle and attitude that seeks conformity to God’s will and purpose]. Heb 12:11 AMP
Activity is not Always the Requirement
Much of sermons preached exhort Christians to get busy for the Lord. True, we are to labor for Him and we are never to stop doing good. Life is about 'contributing', it's about 'blessing' others. Periods of stillness and of rest are also required. Throughout the Bible, we see instances in which God just stops people right in their tracks.
We see lessons about playing when it hurts, striving through difficulty and pain, persisting in suffering. Wisdom and caution are needed, and one must take heed not to keep pushing when God says "NO" or "STOP, or "REST", or... "BE STILL"
Psalm 37:7 commands us to be still and ENTRUST our situation to God.
Psalm 46:10 commands us to be still and KNOW that He is God.
Exodus 31:15 commands us to rest and REFLECT on the greatness of God and His Handiwork.
How about Physical Pain?
Good men suffer, Christians suffer. The Bible gives accounts of believers suffering. The 'why' question is always difficult getting answered but there is comfort in knowing that God's abiding presence is there in those moments; and that though we live in this fallen, cursed world, where all of creation is suffering and deteriorating, God pays attention. God is sovereign and God will see us through.
Bible Verses to Help Cope with Physical Pain
Bless the Lord / Laura Story (You Give and Take Away for my Good)
Suffering and the Christian
Do you believe that suffering is part of the Christian Life?
Streams in the Desert
Kindle Version of this classic devotional
Costly Glory (full text)
- Streams In The Desert : April 26
Shining is always costly. Light comes only at the cost of that which produces it. An unlit candle does no shining. Burning must come before shining.