There is no where to run from Pain

“Love suffers long…”      

      I Corinthians 13:4 NKJV

          Pain is a result of sin but it is not our enemy. Selfishness is our enemy. When we endure pain for love’s sake we deal a direct blow to our primary foe. Each time our carnal natures are deprived it hurts, but it works for us an eternal weight of glory. Dying to self is not always pleasant, but it's benefits far outweigh the costs, in this life and the next.

          While Jesus walked among us he was no stranger to pain yet he was full of joy. Most refuse to accept suffering, but by such a refusal they only rob themselves. Jesus modeled the path to abundant life, a path of bearing burdens for God’s glory. Pursuing personal pleasure is attended by emptiness while enduring difficulty for love’s sake is full of peace and joy. Nothing has more power to glorify God and bind us to his heart than the choice to trust Him in the midst of pain.

          There is no way to avoid pain in a fallen world, but when we choose to endure it for others we reap dramatic benefits. When we patiently endure temptation or carry another’s burdens our pain is not pointless. In fact, pain endured for the sake of others is beautiful. Yes beautiful pain does exist. The agony and pain of Calvary demonstrated the most beautiful revelation of love imaginable. As we brave pain for love’s sake, we open the door for God to bring beauty from ashes for others as well as for ourselves.

          Following Jesus requires us to face pain rather than run from it. The truth is there is no where to run from our pain but we can bring it to Jesus. The sins we run after attempting to medicate our pain only increase it. Jesus can exchange our empty pain for beautiful pain when we bring our burdens to him. The sweetness of facing difficulty with Jesus by our side is infinitely better than the excruciating pain of running from our problems. 

Still Seeking His Face,

Pastor Andrew

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