Pain is good

Last Saturday, I talked to my friend who recently had bone spurs removed from his ankle.  He shared his frustrations about the rehabilitation process, for it hurt to move his ankle.  His comments reminded me of my appendectomy: I didn’t want to move after the surgery because every movement hurt so bad.  But God sent a “word” through a nurse that helped me realize the benefit of post-operative pain.  She said, “If you want to go home, then you’ll get out of this bed and walk around.”  Likewise, I told my friend that his pain was good, for movement helped initiate the healing process.

Paul offers a similar perspective in the verse cited above.  Sometimes, our trials are so painful that we shift our focus from where we’re going to where we are.  That’s when complaining, doubt, hopelessness, and misery become our best friends.  Paul, however, challenges us to look at the result of our troubles: “… they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!”  In other words, pain is good.  Spiritual troubles lead to spiritual triumph!

You may be in a difficult place, focusing on the pain and frustration in the moment.  I challenge you to look beyond the pain and recognize the promise.  It’s all working for your good (see Romans 8:28).  Be encouraged; strength is on the way!