Finding Meaning in the Midst of Pain (365 Days of Daring Faith — DAY 285)
1 Peter 4:19 (NLT)
So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.
When Jewish psychiatrist Viktor Frankl was arrested by the Nazis and taken to a concentration camp during World War II, almost everything was taken away from him. He was stripped of his family, possessions, property, and when he arrived at Auschwitz even his manuscript for “Man’s Search for Meaning” was taken away from him. When Frankl emerged from that harrowing ordeal, he reflected, “There is nothing in the world that would so effectively help one to survive even the worst conditions, as the knowledge that there is a meaning in one’s life.”
This is how God wants us to deal with the unfairness and injustices that we face in our lives. We all have them and will experience them at some point or another. If we take the attitude that ‘this is so unfair and I shouldn’t have to go through this’ and begin to seek revenge and retaliate, we’re totally missing the point and the purpose of enduring pain and hurt as a believer. People will mistreat us. They will take advantage of us, lie to us, and say mean things about us. But God wants us to take all that negativity and realize He has a purpose for it.
It is easy to feel our hurt and wallow in our pain and that’s okay. It’s human nature to get hurt and to feel it. The most important thing we must remember is that God is on your side. He understands what it is like to be betrayed, used, mistreated, and suffer for seemingly no reason. God has a special place in his heart for those who are treated unfairly. He is the God of justice, mercy, grace, and love. He hears your cry and sees your hurts. You didn’t get the promotion you thought you deserve, your friends didn’t ask you out with them, your parents don’t love each other anymore. God sees all of that and he has a plan for you, yes, even in the pain.
You have to learn to take the negatives of your life and turn them around so the light of Christ can shine on them and through them. If you let him, he can turn your pain and heartbreak into a beautiful message for your good, for the good of others, and for his glory. God uses pain to develop character. Pain allows us something solid and stable to stand on. It makes us stronger and gives us grace to know that if we can get through that, we can get through anything.
God does not waste one moment of your life. Although we always want an answer to the question of “Why?” we don’t need an explanation for why we’re going through what we’re going through. As hard as it may sound, we have to learn to embrace the pain and suffering and know that God is using it for his good will and plan. Let God settle the score. Open your heart to receive his grace and extend forgiveness and let his eternal light shine in and through your situation.
“Even in the greatest afflictions, we ought to testify to God, that, in receiving them from his hand, we feel pleasure in the midst of the pain, from being afflicted by Him who loves us, and whom we love.”
— John Wesley