A person who is suffering with pain may wrongly believe they are alone, that no one can understand what they are living through and enduring every day.
We suffer today because of the Fall (Gen 3) and the disobedience of the first man and woman. Suffering is a part of the curse pronounced upon all creation and since that moment, suffering has been a part of life. We are not alone in our suffering!
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. Romans 8:18-23 (NASB)
Everything that has been created is groaning under the weight of sin, and like us, it desires to be set free from "this body of death." It is important that you realize that your suffering is not a surprise to God.
The biblical truth is that Jesus is intimately aware of all that we suffer, moment by moment and day by day.
But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, “I WILL PROCLAIM YOUR NAME TO MY BRETHREN, IN THE MIDST OF THE CONGREGATION I WILL SING YOUR PRAISE.” And again, “I WILL PUT MY TRUST IN HIM.” And again, “BEHOLD, I AND THE CHILDREN WHOM GOD HAS GIVEN ME.”
Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.
Hebrews 2:9-18 (NASB)
Jesus experienced every human suffering you and I do- and more. He suffered because we suffer, He hurt because we hurt, He grieved because we grieve... He has gone before us in suffering and pain that we might be encouraged in suffering and pain. He is also the answer to our suffering and pain.
The suffering and death of Jesus Christ on the cross has made it possible for our miserable pain and suffering to one day end. It has also made it possible for us to endure pain and suffering in the present. You see, the joy that was set before Christ (Heb 12:2) was our freedom from the curses of Genesis 3! Freedom from pain for all eternity in our future life!
This reality must become the lens through which we endure our present sufferings. Our pain today while not pleasant is purposeful. God is working in the midst of every painful episode you have today. Sadly, we disbelieve these truths because our experiences tend to dictate our reality. We believe that if something feels bad, it must be bad. If something hurts me, it cannot be good!
This is entirely backwards from how the Christian is to respond as it is unbiblical. Regardless of how something looks or feels to us, God's Word always trumps our feelings, thoughts, and beliefs. Scripture must become our measuring stick, we must search the Word and allow those truths to reframe our painful experiences.
The unbelievable reality is: pain has a purpose in your life and it's purpose is good.
Come back tomorrow for more on this important topic of aspects of chronic pain.