What is the purpose and power of pain if not to uncover our true self. Once found, we are able to truly identify our strengths and weaknesses thereby determining the path that we we each should take.
Pain can emanate from loss (of a loved one, job), betrayal (leading to loss of trust), neglect, regret or even lack of support.
The pain being referred to here is mental or emotional distress or suffering as defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary. In this context, we can also refer to this kind of pain as grief.
Is grief normal? Should a believer accept pain? If yes, how? How long? What is the normal way to grieve as a believer? If not, then what? What is the acceptable source of pain in a believer’s life?
Have you ever just wished scripture would give you straightforward response to these questions instead of the “creative” poetic contextual application. You lose a loved one, you are told it is well because s/he is in the arms of the Father. The one grieving is aware of that. What causes them most distress is how to move on from that day to the next, & the next & the next till a new normal is established. Similarly, when loss of trust is at play. Guaranteed, lessons learnt but how do you apply them in such a manner that it is Christ centered and glorifies Him alone & not your pain? At this point it is easy to say “the Bible says…….“
My truth is that in my deepest moments of pain I have hurt others who are not part of the cause of the pain, I have embarrassed myself in the process, I have lost some acquaintances, gained one or two, became possessed by bitterness and spewed it on anyone willing to receive it, sunk into depression, withdrew from “society” before finding myself again.
How do we find ourselves in pain? I don’t know but what I know is that everyone takes their own journey when it comes to pain. Depending on the gravity of the pain, one can take a long journey as described in the previous paragraph or might take the shortest distance i.e. a straight line. A straight line is the shortest distance between 2 points. Pain & the next step.
I believe that is how believers should handle pain……using as straight line. Let your yes be yes & vice versa failure to which the long road taken will have more casualties than intended yet we are called to be a light & not a pain to the world.
Does light cause pain? Yes, albeit temporarily. Look at it this way, it’s like going in for eye surgery. Post (successful) surgery adjustment to light will be painful but worth it compared to living in the pain & suffering of the illness that will lead to darkness that we commonly refer to as blindness.
Back to our earlier questions.
- Is grief normal?
- Should a believer accept pain? If yes, how? How long?
- What is the normal way to grieve as a believer? If not, then what?
- What is the acceptable source of pain in a believer’s life?
I dare say it is very normal. Look around you, there are those things that will grieve your heart, mind, body & soul. The assurance that we have is to approach this pain with an attitude of victory. How are we victorious if we are the ones on the wrong? Simple, repentance to all the parties affected. Though it is a simple word, repentance is both a verb & a noun & only considered genuine when both, the verb & noun are carried out not to fulfill righteousness but as a human and a spiritual need.
Should a believer accept pain? We all have a “thorn on our flesh”. There is the thorn that can be pulled out & there are those that will cause more harm than good if they’re pulled out. Some are better left in state.
What is the normal way to grieve? Keep it as a straight line. As my dear husband always reminds me ‘keep the main thing, the main thing‘.
What is not an acceptable source of pain is that which will pull you away from your faith in God & cause you to forget His benefits. Remember, in this world you will have mny troubles but Christ came so that you may have life everlasting.
4 Surely he has borne our sufferings and carried our sorrows (pain) ; yet we considered him stricken, and struck down by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, and he was crushed for our iniquities, and the punishment that made us whole was upon him, and by his bruises we are healed. Isaiah 53:4&5