Pain is the beginning of the transformation to healthy living. Every time. In every area of your life.
All of my ughs cannot change this truth. Pain is the beginning of something. Not the ending of something. It is the beginning.
Can you feel through the pain? Not run away from the pain. Not numb the pain. Not fix the pain. Not reach for the “easy button” so you can transport out of the pain. Not “easy button” this pain to God so you don’t have to feel.
If you do any of that avoidance of pain, you miss the transformation. This transformation is found in the Bible and is found in life (this is consistent). We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-5
Pain helps us develop endurance. Pain makes us stronger. There are so many good blogs written about this truth. Find them. Read them. Find their encouragement too. Embrace this truth deep into your soul so you can overcome.
Endurance develops strength of character. This is the transformation we all want. But if only we could do it without the pain. If only! But the two go together. Pain is the beginning.
To become who you are to be is to also feel the pain. Pain is not a mistake to fix. And I believe this strongly—we are hardwired for pain. God has designed us to be able to bear through the pain and grow and share. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us. 2 Corinthians 1:3-7.
Suffering and comfort flow in and out of each other and through each other as part of our shared community. Re-read this section of Scripture and see how it all flows in and out of each other. We can do this together. We can begin with our pain, develop endurance, and have this strength of character which blesses those we love.
Honestly that is not enough to help me endure my pain. I love you all but there are days my pain is not comforted with the thought that I get to share it with you. I am comforted though knowing that I am hardwired to overcome.
Back to the Romans 5 transformation. After strength of character comes “confident hope of salvation.” That’s a lot of churchy words that I “won” by my endurance. To read further I also “won” a hope that will not lead to disappointment. All wrapped up because God loves me.
This is the hope I have learned. I am worthy of love and belonging. I base this worthiness on the truth that I am loved by God who has moved the universe to continually show his love for me. Hope is Plan B which means I have chosen to set goals, my tenacity/endurance gives me room to change and revise those goals because deep down I know I’m worthy of having something good happen to me. That is my confident hope of salvation.
I know this about hope also. H.O.P.E. Hold On Pain Ends.
Pain is the beginning. And pain will end. I can and will get to the other side of this.
What creates bravery, wisdom, and kindness in people? Right now think of those people in your life who have these traits. These valuable traits happen when someone has overcome. Think of those people’s stories again. True, right? You overcome because you didn’t fix the pain. You are hardwired to make it through.
What a powerful word overcoming is. It is a word you can own about your life. You can wear this word. You can live bravely, have wisdom, and ooze of kindness because you