My normal response to pain is not ‘thank-you’. I have discovered, with increasing clarity however, that some of the deepest most precious spiritual stuff grows out of pain. The Bible teaches this most plainly…but there is something about His words invading our routine multitasking everyday lives, that makes us sit up and take notice. When we go through something that really hurts, and at the end look back on the situation and see the great things God has done, it is hard to describe the wonder for a God who can use even terrible things and bring glory to Himself.
In Luke 24:26 we read the words of Jesus as He spoke on the road to Emmaus: “was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” (emphasis mine). Necessary for the Son of God, the creator of the universe, to suffer…now, that is a weighty thought. God, who can do anything, is all powerful, and knows everything still deemed it necessary for His Son to suffer in order to bring about peace between Himself and you and I. In the gospel of Mark 8:31 Jesus says that He must suffer many things, and then He foretold His rejection and crucifixion.
Our normal reaction when problems surface is to think – “why can’t things just be smooth…why does this have to happen…why can’t life be easy? If we know God is all powerful then the concept of suffering just doesn’t seem logical – at least on the surface. After all, God could, if He chose, sweep His almighty hand and clear up any problem we are having.
It’s hard to understand that even with the King of Kings, some painful things He has ordained as necessary. He chooses not to wave a magic wand, even with His Son. He chose to have His life, death, resurrection and ascension to be flesh and blood real, including the pain. If the greatest act in Jesus life had to be accomplished through suffering, it’s really not a surprise that great spiritual victories in our lives often surface as the result of pain. Only a great and sovereign God could make good out of bad, light out of darkness, and sweetness out of bitter.
Life slaps…life hurts…but there is tremendous hope in Christ and He has the power to transform that which is hard and difficult into something incredibly good. There is hope for today and even more for tomorrow by placing our faith and complete trust in Jesus Christ.