Our daughter Isabella has a sore in her mouth that bothers her whenever she eats certain foods. We told her that in order to help heal the wound she could brush her teeth with the baking powder and salt tooth paste that we use. The salt would help to heal the wound. She replied that it would really hurt, to which we answered that sometimes to cleanse and heal we have to experience pain.
The other day while driving to work, I was listening to another Gaither Vocal Band CD. The song “Through” came up and I immersed myself in the lyrics. The lyrics in the middle section of the song really stood out to me:
Without fire there’s no refining, without pain no relief
Without flood there’s no rescue, without testing no belief
(Note: The full lyrics and be found here.)
How often do I want to avoid pain? Yet, the very thing that hurts is designed to improve us, if we allow it to. For example, if you want to build muscle tone, you must provide resistance against those muscles, which produces physical pain. If you want to overcome your temper, sometimes when you are most angry you have to call on the Holy Spirit for patience, peace and self-control; the battle to overcome our flesh thus producing pain in our heart (it is easier in the short-term just to give in to our flesh). While I would not wish to go through this trial by my own choosing, this journey through grief is meant to produce in us fruits of godliness, if we allow Him to work in and mold us. But, we must go through the pain and not avoid it. If we try to run away from it, the pain will instead produce bad fruit (for example bitterness).
The following Scripture verses come to mind related to experiencing pain, suffering and trials:
Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. (Job 23:8-10, emphasis mine)
The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts. (Pro 17:3)
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: (1Pe 1:7)
And he [Jesus] was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (Luk 22:41-44, [clarification mine], emphasis mine)
Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; (Heb 5:8)
Do you have any special verses that have encouraged you as you went or are going through pain, suffering or trials? Please share them below so that we can encourage each other.