Faith Brings Joy Even in Pain
There are many things in this world and this life that I do not understand. Today, I don’t understand chronic physical pain. I get the purpose of acute pain, such as the pain you feel when you touch a hot burner on the stove or cut yourself while chopping vegetables. That pain tells you there is an injury that you need to attend to. It is pain that can be dealt with and has a purpose and a definite end.
But chronic pain just goes on and on as a reminder that something is wrong that you can’t do anything about. I struggle to understand a purpose for that kind of pain. I suppose it makes one sympathetic to others who suffer from chronic pain, but if it didn’t exist at all then such sympathy would not be necessary. Which leaves me right back at not understanding. Sometimes it’s enough to make me want to give up altogether.
But then I remember something that I do understand: faith. Martin Luther said, “Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace. It is so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times.” When I consider the faith that has been granted to me by the Holy Spirit, I know that I cannot give up. Faith helps me remember that this life is not all there is, and that chronic pain will have a definite end someday. Maybe not today or tomorrow, or even next week, but there will be better days and there is eternity living in God’s grace.
I wasn’t going to mention any music in this post, since that seems to defeat the purpose of having a designated Music Monday. But there is another song on the MercyMe CD I’ve been listening to this week that has really helped to strengthen my faith and helped me to endure the physical pain. It’s called Move, and the second verse and chorus have been such a blessing to me this week:
This hurt is getting heavy
But I’m not about to cave
Everything is about to change
There’s gonna be brighter days
I just might bend but won’t break
As long as I can see Your face
When life won’t play along
And right keeps going wrong
And I can’t seem to find my way
I know where I am found
So I won’t let it drag me down
Oh, I’ll keep dancing anyway
I’ve mentioned before that I have a deck of angel cards in my office with an inspiring word on each card. I periodically pull three new cards at random, one for the Father, one for the Son, and one for the Holy Spirit. Today I decided it was time for three new cards (though I hated to put Beauty, Grace, and Love back in the deck). The three new cards that I pulled are Joy, Healing, and Truth. These seem quite appropriate for today.
As I pondered these words, I realized that there will be Joy in Healing when I am no longer in pain (whenever that may be). But more importantly, there is Joy now in the Truth of God’s mercy and love. Joy is not dependent on my physical wellbeing, but is the natural state of a heart captured by Christ. Joy comes from faith that is confident in my position as a child of God. This is the promise that Paul shared with the church in Rome:
Faith Brings Joy
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:1-5.
Some things I don’t understand, but faith in the love and mercy of Jesus our Lord and Savior I do understand. How it gives me such joy in spite of trying circumstances remains a mystery, but the fact that it does is indisputable.
If you are struggling today with chronic pain that you don’t understand, I can sympathize with you. Don’t give up! Hang onto the knowledge of God’s love that the Holy Spirit supplies, the promise of brighter days that God’s Word offers, and the faith that brings a joy that transcends human understanding.
I appreciated this post. I have dealt with Chronic Fatigue for over twenty years. A couple of years ago found out that I am on the borderline of having lupus. Through it all though, I have learned how to pace myself. Enjoy the days that God gives me and I have learned to tap into gifts that allow me to do what I can within the boundaries that are given. Yes, there are days that I don’t feel so hot but I keep counting my blessings. Each day holds many blessings and that outweighs the pain!
April, Thank you for sharing that. It is always encouraging to know you are not alone. And yes, the blessings do outweigh the pain. The enemy would like us to forget that, but it is true. When I was working on this post I found a verse, Job 6:10, that I planned to include but didn’t for some reason: “At least I can take comfort in this:Despite the pain,I have not denied the words of the Holy One.” He has promised Joy in all circumstances, and that is something worth hanging on to. Peace, Linda
I always say I will not allow anyone or anything steal my joy!
“For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” (2 Cor. 12:8-10)
I pray that the Lord will remove this pain from you. But if not, may He continue to give you the grace to bear it and glorify Him through it 🙂 What a beautiful and touching post, Linda, thanks.
Loren, What a perfect verse! Thank you for reminding me of it when I needed it most. Thank you also for your prayers. The Lord has been good to me, and I have faith that His grace is indeed sufficient. Peace, Linda
“Joy is not dependent on my physical wellbeing, but is the natural state of a heart captured by Christ. Joy comes from faith that is confident in my position as a child of God.”
I came across Paulette’s blog – http://pbus1.wordpress.com/ a few days ago. I marvel at God’s grace and His ability to keep us even in the midst of the pain.
May you continue in His joy.
Ann, I don’t know how I would make it through without Him some days. The best thing about the pain is that it increases my dependence on Jesus, and that is a good thing. Peace, Linda
Thank you for such an honest and encouraging post about chronic pain. Would you be comfortable sharing what it is you are suffering with? I will be praying with you regardless, because He knows, and thanking Him for your faith that grows ever deeper even in struggles and times of not understanding. God bless you and bring you the strength to face each day!
Deb, I appreciate the prayers. 🙂 I tried so hard to come up with something else to write about today, but then I realized that I am always talking about being honest and sharing our stories so that others going through the same struggles can be encouraged. Peace, Linda