No Pain; No Gain

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The Role of Pain in Deepening Our Need for One Another
May 25, 2005 – by Brett Eastman

Nobody likes pain, and nobody likes to experience pain alone. Even Christ, while hanging on the cross, asked God, "Why have you forsaken me?" Yet God often uses it to trigger some of the greatest life-giving moments.

We often fail to appreciate that pain points out a problem that's blocking personal growth. In order for God to deal with certain areas of our life, he allows certain levels of discomfort or pain. Because pain requires more than we have, we must trust God more deeply. In this respect, pain is a conductor to deepening our faith.

I hear people say that they have ideas for sharing their faith. Great ideas that have to do with clowns, bicycles, campus evangelism, and so many other random ideas. But they just fall short of following through on them. They fear the pain of failure or bear the pain of self-doubt.

Others, when asked to help out on certain projects or ministry events say they aren't spiritually prepared or knowledgeable to handle those circumstances. Most don't realize that when we are willing to take these risks-open ourselves up to pain-we depend on God, which is at the heart of each believer.

If we fail to open ourselves up to pain then how can we grow? And if we fail to grow then how can we share? And if we fail to share then how will God's Kingdom flourish?

Pushing through the pain

When pain creeps in it's important to remember what's pushing it. Whether it's fear, doubt, guilt-anything the enemy may throw at us-it's something God wants to work on. Allow Him to have the first say in what he wants for our lives. Allow Him to help us become more like Christ. Allow him to show us what a deep walk of trust and belief looks like.

Praying with the each other or agreeing to assist one another in what God may be calling us to do can help us stand strong together against our fears and pain. Ecclesiastes says: "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!"

When we use strengthening and uplifting words, we take steps toward permanent healing and growth. Once we admit we are in over our heads and plunge into what God may be doing, we'll see how far he's carried us to do his will.