October 13, 2022
Except for the mentally deranged, pain is never pleasurable. Nothing in human nature wants it and it is instinctive to stay away from sources of pain and rather gravitate to sources of pleasure. Even our Lord and master Jesus, in one of the strongest demonstrations of His humanity, was in despair as His trial and crucifixion drew near (Matthew 26:38). He pled with His father if it was possible to let the cup of suffering pass over Him (Matthew 26:39). Painful experiences are a part of life and our faith cannot shield us away from some of them as they are inevitable parts of our Christian journeys.
As much as the Lord despaired at the garden of Gethsemane before his trial began, He had known that His suffering and crucifixion were inevitable. He began to prepare His disciples for it in Matthew 16:21, so much so Peter called Him aside to rebuke him about it. His answer to Peter was ‘Get thee behind me Satan..’(Matthew 16:22). He discerned Satan trying to discourage Him, through Peter, from embracing the pain that will result in the purchase of eternal redemption for humanity. Some bible teachers are comfortable with this as much as it was Christ’s substitutionary work on our behalf and we are not supposed to suffer the things He suffered on our behalf and yet they fail to realize the scriptures admonish us also to follow after His example of sacrifice to be a blessing to others (2 Corinthians 8:9, 1 Peter 2:21).
The calling of Apostle Paul to the ministry came in a dramatic and powerful fashion that was the only means God could arrest the attention of a hardened Pharisee who saw the persecution of the church as something that pleased God and pursued it with zeal. In sending Ananias to pray for him so he could receive his sight and also the baptism of the Holy Spirit, God calmed the fears of this disciple in Damascus by revealing “For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” (Acts‬ ‭9:16‬ ‭NKJV). Like Paul, we are to go through painful sacrifices to see the kingdom of God expanded in the earth and to see His will done. On the behalf of Christ, we will suffer persecution (Philippians 1:29). However, it is always for the benefit of others.‬‬
In the same vein, our life’s trajectories at times take us through painful experiences which are not always of our own making but are onslaughts of the kingdom of darkness against us – experiences which God, in His sovereignty, has planned to turn around and use for His own glory. Such was the story of Joseph who dreamt two heaven granted dreams of leadership and governance over his family in Genesis 37. It led to jealousy on the part of his brothers, culminating in their selling off of Joseph as a slave to Ishmaelites on their way to Egypt. He ended up a slave in the house of an Egyptian government official where he was again betrayed by the man’s wife for refusing her sexual advances. Imprisoned by his master, Joseph found himself in the worst conditions imaginable. And yet, from the same prison, he went on to become Prime minister by God’s intervention. This happened at a time of severe famine that spread to the land of Canaan where his family lived, forcing them to come and buy food from Joseph in Egypt. In revealing himself to his perplexed brothers, he revealed how he had found the purpose of God in the pains of their betrayal and all he went through. He saw beyond their human weaknesses and wickedness to the overriding purpose of God.
And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and Lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.”- ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭45:7-8‬ ‭NKJV‬‬‬‬‬‬
God allowed Kenneth E Hagin to learn how to be healed by faith through the suffering of an incurable blood disease and paralysis through a heart condition. His ministry of Faith and healing touched millions around the world and it’s still doing so. Joyce Meyer was repeatedly abused sexually by her father, leaving her emotionally broken. Out of it has emerged a ministry liberating multitudes of women. You may not comprehend the pains in your life’s trajectory but if you will surrender them to the Lord Jesus Christ, through the provisions of His finished work of Grace, He will heal you, deliver you, bless you and use you for His own glory. Don’t waste the pains you have passed through; rather, let God use them for His glory.

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