How God Uses Pain

As hard as it is to say it, we don’t have any other choice. All of us who have experienced pain, as my daughter has, would seem to have a right to be angry at God and to allow that anger to crystallize into bitterness.

But we can’t go there—our Creator God is the author of all life. Somehow in the midst of the pain, even through tears, we have to trust him. He is the “Father of lights” who, the Bible tells us, gives us good and perfect gifts. As we trust him, we do so believing that he does answer us. We believe that if that answer doesn’t stop our pain, at least it redeems it.

Yes, we don’t understand what we’ve had to go through. Still, we will stand with Job and say, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.” We’ll follow Leah as she follows God, knowing that her faith is often stronger than ours. When sometimes we half-step our way to God, she is usually able to trust him with her whole heart.

God is betting on you.

All of your life, you’ll have opportunities to incubate a vindictive spirit when bad and painful things happen. You’ll have repeated chances to turn and blame God. But if you have a testimony of patience and long-suffering in the face of pain, then God wins the high stakes bet he placed on you.

The Bible talks about experiencing the “fellowship of his sufferings.” That’s not a fellowship any of us willingly choose. What does that even look like?

I’ll tell you what it looks like. It looks like a dance I went to last week. It was a dance especially for people with special needs. They were lame, deformed, and spastic. Dwarves and Downs Syndrome. The kind of people children point at. And they were dancing for all they were worth. Leah among them.

It was glorious. If they were poor in spirit, they didn’t know it. And if you looked closely, for a second, I swear you could see Jesus dancing, right in the middle of them. I’m pretty sure I heard him laughing too. So will we all one day.

If you find yourself in a hard place this week, I hope you know down deep that God is betting on you. You are one of his greatest creations. And sometimes God uses pain to reveal that greatness.


This article on how God uses pain originally appeared here, and is used by permission.

For another article on how God uses pain, see Tim Tebow’s “There can be purpose in your pain, so give it to God.”