Monday, January 24, 2011

A Biblical Response

A person who struggles with pain from Fibromyalgia or any other chronic ailment can suffer from another major problem, a lack of hope. A lack of hope results when despite prayer, despite doctoring, despite doing all you can humanly do the problem and the pain remain. It is the belief things will never change.

The Lord's desire for you even in your painful condition is to focus first on Him, secondly on bringing Him glory, and thirdly to focus on others. The temptation is to focus only on the pain and gaining relief from it, but God has other plans! It is in His plans that you will find that blessed thing called hope!

There is hope in the fact that you can still live a victorious life as you are controlled by His Spirit and His Word rather than being controlled by your feelings. Despite how you may feel emotionally, like you are alone in this wilderness or like no one could possibly understand, the truth is unchangeable and the truth is that nothing will separate you from the Lord (Rom. 8:35-37; Jude 24). God is always keeping you close to Himself and He is keeping you as you are suffering with Fibromyalgia or other chronic pain. When you don't allow the emotions and the pain to control you, you are victorious. 

Don't misunderstand me as I say not to allow the pain to control you. I am not ignorant of the reality of chronic and debilitating pain. Seek medical help when it is available, that is your responsibility because your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit but don't allow the medical aspects to defeat you or control you. You may not find much hope or help in the medical community unless it comes in the form of powerful drugs that do nothing but muddle your thinking and make you feel doped up.

Realize that your hope and help comes from the Lord, it is His strength that will enable you to fulfill your daily responsibilities. You will have to learn to operate within the confines your pain places on you however, you can still accomplish some things each day. Focusing on His enabling will be more profitable than thinking of all you cannot do.

I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:12-13 (NASB)

When you think you cannot go on, you cannot get up, you cannot endure I encourage you to take those thoughts captive (1 Cor 10:13) and remind yourself of the truth. You can do what needs to be done through Christ who strengthens you for the tasks He puts before you. God does not ask us to do the impossible, He equips us to walk by faith believing that we can accomplish our duties by His power.

When you are tempted to fall into despair and self-pity remind yourself that God as allowed you to have Fibromyalgia when He could have prevented it. It is never outside of His control and neither is the pain you endure. Allowing this to be in your life is intentional and purposeful and He means to bring Himself glory through it in your life.

Adopt the attitude of Christ.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3 (NASB)

Use your ailment as a ministry, use it to do good, make it an opportunity to serve. Both Job of the Old Testament and Jesus Christ the Son of God used their sufferings to reach out to other people and meet them where they were at. Because Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor, we can trust that His pattern of life is an acceptable one for us too. 

I thought about ending this series by saying that I hope one day there will be a pain-free life for you, and as much as I wish there were no suffering in the world there will always be some. The truth is, I pray that you will find the Lord in the midst of your chronic pain and that you will learn to glorify Him there as you live overcoming Fibromyalgia by His power and strength.

3 comments:

Emily said...

one day... there will be no more pain... of any kind.

"and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." Rev. 21:4

BOH said...

I appreciate your final statement/prayer. Allowing God to work and to be seen through any of our circumstances is what the Christian life is to be about. I am fully aware it is easy to make a statement such as that when I am not the one in pain. However I am fully aware God may allow me to be "matured" in that area at any time. My heart is sensitive to the needs of others and I also pray for His perfect will to be done in all of our lives.

Living on Less Money said...

I will be sharing this article with two friends who suffer with this ailment. Very encouraging.