Friday, 20 June 2014

Don’t Waste Your Pain

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."  Romans 8:28  NIV

“Don’t waste your pain, that’s easy for you to say. You don’t know what I’m going through.”   You are absolutely right if that is what you were thinking.  I have no idea what you are going through.  What I do know is that I have heard that expression from two people – one I admire greatly, the other I adore completely.  The person I admire is John Piper.  In 2006 he wrote an article entitled “Don’t Waste Your Cancer.”  The person I adore is my wife who expressed the same sentiment which helped give her hope during a depression a number of years ago.

I recognize that two people does not a large sample make but the reason that both could make that statement was because of their personal beliefs.  John Piper’s words will give you a reasonably good idea of what he and my wife have in common in terms of their beliefs.  John wrote, “You will waste your cancer if you do not believe it is designed for you by God. It will not do to say that God only uses our cancer but does not design it. What God permits, he permits for a reason. And that reason is his design.”

My guess is that this will not sit well with some of you who refuse to acknowledge that an all loving God is ever responsible for allowing and/or causing any form of calamity.  Job’s troubles were caused by Satan but allowed by God.  The Creator of the universe would not be all powerful and all knowing, which He is, if He was not able to control anything and everything.

Nothing happens that is outside of God’s ultimate will.  That is not to say that in some instances our pain is not a result of consequences of our actions but none the less they come from God.

So if your marriage is filled with much pain, rest assured God is well aware of it.  The pain is wasted if you just continue down the same road or if you were to get a divorce.  The pain should serve a purpose.  The question shouldn’t be “why God” but “what”?   God wants you to learn something about yourself.  What is your contribution to the state of your marriage?  Marriage issues are usually relational issues and relational issues are usually heart issues.  What does that mean – what’s a heart issue?

The heart, Biblically speaking, is the mind, will and emotions.  Such manifestations as stubbornness, self-centeredness, selfishness, being disrespectful, being angry, being unloving, nagging, etc. are all symptomatic of something that is not in sync with God.  In many instances it is your pain that is causing you to act out this way.  God wants you to use the pain to figure out what is causing the discomfort and deal with it in a way that will bring glory to Him.

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