Why Won't the Pain Go Away?

I woke up recently with two kinds of pain.

Pain #1--Good Pain. My legs were sore from refereeing five soccer games in one day. This equated to about 15 miles of running by my watch. The pain I felt was a good pain. It was a growth pain. My muscles were responding to being pushed beyond their normal activity and the pain indicated that new and positive growth were occurring.

Pain #2--Bad Pain. My hamstring was sore from being pulled. During a sprint down the soccer field, I felt a sharp pain that caused me to stop in my tracks and almost fall to the ground. This pain was due to a strain. This pain was not a growth pain, but a destructive pain.

Pain #1 was positive.

Pain #2 was negative.

Pain is a necessary component of life. Pain comes at us when we are heading in the right direction and the wrong direction. If you're on the road to success there will be pain. If you're on the road to failure there will be pain. The challenge for those in recovery is choosing which pain we want.

We often believe that once we start getting clean, getting our life straight, and doing right that the pain will go away. However, that's when the pain becomes the strongest. We want to be trusted again, but people still don't trust us. We want to work again, but no one will hire us. We want our marriages back, but the spouse isn't ready. We want to pick up where we left off, but nothing seems to work.

But these pains are all part of the road to success. We must humbly go through rejection in order to find acceptance again. We have to go through rejection in order to find trust again. We have to go through rejection in order to find work again. We have to go through rejection in order to find relationships again.

While we don't like the pain, we need the pain. Pain grows us. Pain matures us. Pain strengthens us. Pain trains us. Pain teaches us. We need pain, but we don't like pain.

So how are we to respond to pain? The Bible explains some simple truths that help us understand and work through the good pains of life.

  1. Pain is normal. "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you," (1 Peter 4:12). God desires our greatest success that comes through Him and success requires pain. Jesus suffered. The disciples suffered. We suffer. Pain and suffering build character and integrity when they are expected and responded to correctly. Pain is not a stranger, so don't be surprised by it. Godly pain is a friend that God sends to make us the people He wants us to be. Welcome it. Embrace it. Learn from it.
  2. Pain is needed. "But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy, (1 Peter 4:13). Without pain, I don't know joy. Without pain, I don't know comfort. Without pain, I don't know victory. The thing that makes the resurrection of Jesus Christ so wonderful is that it first involved His death. Without death, we cannot celebrate the resurrection. Real recovery is only joyful when you realize the pain that you must overcome. It will hurt. The greater the pain, the greater the glory. Attack it!
  3. Pain is noticed. "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified," (1 Peter 4:14). Living for Jesus will bring a level of pain to our lives, but it is good pain. It is the pain that we need that brings successs and victory. It defines who we are. Jesus suffered. We suffer. It's inevetible. The alternative is the suffering and the pain of sin that leads to death. The pain in your life will be noticed. It will define you. Is it good pain or bad pain? The choice is yours.

We must be ready to endure the pain of recovery and future success. If we are not ready to endure it and even welcome it, we will not succeed. The old saying still holds true--NO PAIN, NO GAIN!

That's why pain won't go away--God uses it to make you into the person He wants you to be. Our job is to simply respond correctly and humbly.

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