Embrace the Pain
Updated: Dec 3, 2020
“Everybody wants a quick fix. You may get results, but they won’t be permanent. The permanent results come from you having to suffer.”
– David Goggins
Where did we ever get the notion that life was going to be easy? Somewhere along the road somebody sold us a bag of lies, and we believed them. Our culture has embraced this idea that pain is a bad thing, that it is something to escape at all cost.
Because if that were true Christ would have never gone to the cross. But instead of running from and trying to escape the cross, Christ embraced His cross. It doesn’t mean that he wanted to go, but He was willing. There’s a difference between wanting and willing.
Jesus said to His disciples, “….My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death….My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:38-39)
Even Jesus didn’t want to go to the cross, but yet in the face of overwhelming sorrow, He was willing to go. He even willed Himself to stay alive in order to fulfill His destiny of being crucified on the cross for our sins. By all natural means He had lost so much blood from the brutal, merciless beatings that He should have been dead, but instead of escaping the pain, He endured it and embraced His mission.
Pain is not something we enjoy, but it is necessary for growth. If Jesus, the Creator of the universe, the Savior of the world, could not escape pain, why on earth do we think we, the creation, will escape it? We will not. Pain is unavoidable.
Let me say that again….pain is unavoidable.
All people will experience pain. So, the question is not, “Will I suffer in life?” But instead, “What will I do with my suffering?”
What have you done with your pain?
Have you bottled it up inside? Is it lurking somewhere in the depths of your soul ready to be unleashed the moment someone triggers your anger? Has it turned into depression and despair? Maybe it’s turned into self-loathing, pity and you see yourself as a victim of circumstances.
Do you feel a sense of entitlement, as if someone owes you for the bad luck of the draw you were dealt with in life? Or maybe you’ve turned to vices and addictions to numb your pain.
Well, I’m here to tell you that none of those are the answer.
It’s time to make your pain work for you! You’re already in pain, so you might as well get a reward for it! Stop allowing the pain of life to hold you in bondage. Stop being a slave to pain and become its master. Tell your pain what it’s going to do. Make it work for you. Learn to push through it.
Stop being a slave to bitterness and unforgiveness. Stop being a slave to rejection and disappointment.
Push past the pain of people mistreating you and say, “I may not feel like forgiving, but I am not a slave to my feelings. I choose to forgive. Lord, help me to forgive those who have hurt me.”
Faith trumps feelings every time.
There will be many times in life where you want to quit, where you feel tired and weary and as if your labor is in vain. But that is a lie. Your labor for Christ is never in vain. There is a reward for those who are faithful.
“Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a reward if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9
I once heard it said that what separates professional and Olympic athletes is their ability to push through pain. At the levels of pain that make the average person stop, they push through it. This ability to endure pain is what separates them from the pack. What allows them to push through the pain is what they choose to focus on. Instead of focusing on how much pain they are in, they focus on the reward they will get from pushing past the pain.
Pain without progress or purpose is sadomasochism. But pain with purpose and a mindset to not quit, will absolutely create progress and will propel you into the very purpose for which you were created. You were created to live with the power of God inside of you, but the only way to truly obtain His power is to pick up your cross daily…..and make no mistake, it will involve pain.
“…. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea.
I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea: and in danger from false believers.
I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches….” – 2 Corinthians 11: 23-28
These are the words of Paul, one of the most profound apostles of the New Testament. A man who used to inflict suffering on others, became a man who embraced his pain like a soldier. Saul, a persecutor of Christians, became the greatest promoter of Christ, willing to spread the gospel in the face of death, and even into death.
No history book ever remembers those who ran from pain. But everyone remembers those who refused to quit, those who despite pain and fear were willing to go anyway.
EMBRACE YOUR PAIN!