Are You In Pain?

Judges 6: 3 - 6 For whenever the Israelites planted crops, the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them. 4 They would encamp against them and devour the produce of the land, as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel and no sheep or ox or donkey. 5 For they would come up with their livestock and their tents; they would come like locusts in number—both they and their camels could not be counted—so that they laid waste the land as they came in. 6 And Israel was brought very low because of Midian. And the people of Israel cried out for help to the Lord.

As I said in my last blog, pain is a reality of life.  It will happen and probably often.  But why?  Doesn't God love me?  Yes!  

Pain was introduced into this world through the sin of Adam and Eve.  Disease, death and a host of other nightmares descended upon mankind because of their refusal to obey God.  Now before you point your finger at Adam and Eve ask yourself, "Have you ever sinned?" Yes, you have.  Ever told a little lie.  Ever stole a pencil?  Ever looked at another person and thought to yourself . . . (hold it this blog is rated PG).  But you get the point.  

You get into a car crash, of no fault of yours, you still have to deal with the pain.  Not only of physical injury, but of economic, and mental anguish.  You have to deal with it, you have no choice.  

But when you sin against God and others, you will experience pain.  An affair can cause the pain of divorce. Drug addiction separates you from the ones you love and can even cause untimely death.  Lying separates your trust from friends and family leaving you alone.

What do you do?

Join the enemy?  Maybe it's just easier to join them?  After all, they are getting what they want and need.  Consider the fact that what they do is at someone else's expense (which causes pain), and then it will cost them their dignity (does that ever cause pain) leaving them lonely, (at least there is honor among thieves - NOT).

Retreat into your emotional cave.  "If they don't care about me, then I'm not going to care about them."   You're right, they can't hurt you.  But you can't experience love, joy or hope in your cave either.  When we are so focused on our pain, all we can do is care about ourselves. Thus we stop caring for others.

Pain should drive us to God, not away from Him.  Often the reason for our pain is selfish, and we are embarrassed.  But God already knows what you have done, don't try to hide it.

Turn pain into praise.  When you suffer for Christ's sake - praise God that you are worthy of such pain.  When you hurt under pain of trial - praise God that He is there for you.  When you are in the pain of fear - praise God for His faith and a sound mind to see you through it.

What is your pain?
What is your praise?

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, help me turn my pain into praise.  AMEN  

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