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God Doesn’t Waste Pain

Are you going through a difficult season of life? Do you wonder why bad things happen to good people? Today I want to encourage you that the pain youre experiencing is for a purpose beyond what you can imagine.

Second Corinthians chapter one tells us that “The God of all comforts … comforts us in our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

I learned this truth early on, as I watched my mothers reaction to my dads death. I was 10 years old when my dad died. His death left a terrible vacuum. But my mom rested in Christ, quoted the scriptures, believed that God had a purpose, and didnt despair. I learned a lot from my mom during that time.

Now I can see how my dads death, although incredibly painful at the time, has been used by God in powerful ways. For one, I can relate to others who have also lost loved ones. As I comfort them with the hope of Jesus Christ, many have come to know the Lord as their Savior.

So, whatever youre going through, remember that God knows whats best. Wait on Him and trust that in His timing, Hell use it for good in your life, and perhaps your experience will lead another to Christ.

Differences and Similarities: Hope

God created every human being with the unique ability and desire to HOPE. We all know that hope brings us a buoyant feeling. If we struggle with depression and cannot find hope on our own, we long for someone else to lend us THEIR hope. Hope is what gets us through difficult times.

One major difference between followers of Jesus Christ and those who do not follow Him is our SOURCE of hope. You see, a nonbeliever knows what hope is. She experiences hope. But she often cannot trust her hope.

For example, she may hope the doctors test results come back favorably. But hoping merely in circumstantial change is a very unsure way to live.

On the other hand, the source of all Christian hope is Jesus Christ. We dont just hope for a change in circumstance, we actually talk to God through prayer and ask Him to intervene. Whether He does or not is entirely up to Him. But our HOPE is secure because HE is secure.

In the Bible, the Psalms are filled with reminders that God, the source of our hope, is faithful. Wont you share the reason for your hope today?

Those in Prison

My wife and I know of a woman who visits girls in a juvenile detention center. Once a month, the girls in this home have free time to leave the campus with a family member or friend. But sadly, many of them have no one to go with. Their family and friends simply dont visit them.

So this woman asked ladies from her church to meet with the girls. Each woman takes one girl out for coffee, or to the mall, or on a walk. And they simply talk. One hour a month is all it takes to share Christs love with these young girls. Isnt that powerful?

Hebrews 13:3 tells us, “Remember those in prison, as if you were their fellow prisoners.”

Now, talk about getting out of our comfort zones! This is perhaps one of the hardest places to imagine sharing the Good News Gospel. But many of the inmates have hit bottom and are hungry for hope, forgiveness, and a fresh start. You can be the one to tell them that Jesus Christ offers new life to all who believe in His name!

Think about some ways you can get alongside a prison ministry in your area. Perhaps you can mentor someone, or help lead a Bible study. As you let the Lord spiritually stretch you, Hell bring about amazing results in peoples lives – including your own!

The One Solution

Some time ago a friend of one of our boys put a gun to his head and shot himself. He was only 16 and the son of a wealthy, notable doctor. A few days before this young mans death, our local newspaper reported that a well-known clinical psychologist committed suicide, leaving a note to his staff stating that he felt “tired, alone, and suddenly very old.” What sad stories!

Suicides are increasing at alarming rates. Thousands of people feel like the clinical psychologist and the high school boy. They feel that life is empty. Overpowered by the idea of “nothingness,” they either take their own lives, or seek escape through drugs, alcohol, and other addictions.

Why do some people despair of life itself? Psychologists offer many answers to that question, but only one true solution exists–Jesus Christ. Only Jesus can meet peoples deepest needs when their world suddenly falls apart.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus told his disciples, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.”

As followers of Jesus, you and I have the responsibility, and privilege, of being faithful messengers of this hope to those in our world.

Rejoicing in Trials

Are you struggling to understand why youre in a tough spot today? “Im such a nice person,” you may say. “Why does God allow difficult things to happen to me?”

One reason we experience trials is to enable us to comfort others who are hurting. Christians who are walking with the Lord have much to share regarding the blessings God has given them in times of deep need or sorrow.

As a follower and believer in Jesus, how do you respond to trials? Do others turn to you for counsel because they sense Gods comforting presence in your life? Its powerful when you can say, “Because of a similar situation, I think I understand what youre going through. Let me share what God did for me.”

Paul says in Romans 5, “We rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character, and character hope.”

In the ministry of comfort, Gods Word comes alive, and His promises become active and real. Suddenly you understand why you went through your hardship. Praise God, it was worth it, as He uses your experience to draw people to the cross of Jesus Christ!