Pain With Purpose
. . . your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.
Some years ago, when I was teaching, in the staffroom I asked my colleagues what their most difficult, painful experience in life had been. Their answers included war, divorce, surgery, and the death of a loved one. One colleague's reply was, “The birth of my first child.” It was a long and difficult labour. But looking back, she said I consider it joyful “because the pain had a big purpose.”
Just before the Lord Jesus went to the cross, He told His followers they were about to go through a time of great pain and sorrow. The Lord compared their coming experience to that of a woman during childbirth, when her anguish turns to joy after her child is born (John 16:20-21). “Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you” (v 22).
Sorrow comes to us all along the road of life. But Jesus, “who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame” (Heb 12:2), purchased forgiveness and freedom for all who open their hearts to Him. His painful sacrifice accomplished God’s eternal purpose of opening the way to reconciliation, salvation, friendship, and fellowship with Him,
The joy of our Saviour outweighed His suffering, just as the joy He gives us overshadows all our pain.
Dear Father, Your precious Son Jesus chose suffering for me. Thank You for His sacrifice on my behalf. Thank You that even my pain can be a tool in Your hands to make me more like Your Son. Thank You, in His name. Amen.