Anyone who knows me …. knows I am unable to view any action in life without a “spiritual perspective”. Going to be up front and frank here …. My spiritual perspective is to:
- Give Glory to God
- Give Lordship to and Receive Salvation from Christ Jesus
- Follow the lead of and receive encouragement from the Holy Spirit
Having said that ………
My perspective on pain in the christian world ….
I have had a lot of time to grow, accept reality, relinquish will, and grow some more. Totally through God’s grace, I have never really had anger that I was put into the dark world of pain (maybe a bit I had to “lay at the cross” against the surgeon who did my 1st back surgery!) … Anyway …., God has always given … and I was always able to receive God’s grace to walk this path.
I learned quickly that light shines brightest against the dark. Yes, there is that whole thing where we go through tough experiences so we can relate and encourage others who are traveling the same path …. but, … frankly, in my case I think the Lord was working more on molding me into a stronger, woman who is assured, faithful, even in the dark … even when I can not see the penlight God is shining through me.
A scripture that has been both instrumental and challenging for me in this journey I have been walking is found in Romans 5.
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5
It is important to put this scripture in context to its entire chapter. I encourage you to read that chapter … but, here is my feeble statement (which can be kindly challenged) of the “not only that” …
- God makes a sinner righteous through faith
- Through that faith we have obtained grace
- Through faith & grace we have obtained peace
- Through faith, grace & peace we have obtained hope in the glory of God
The challenging part is that I want “hope” first … and I do not pray for an “eternal” hope, but a temporal one to get me through a specific situation. However, the scripture is clear that if we want hope produced within us, we must first start with suffering … and then an eternal hope will be given us …
- The suffering will produces endurance.
- The endurance will produce character (my least favorite, and likely God’s favorite part).
- And … that character will produce hope.
After 19 years on this path … I am a woman filled with MUCH hope!
Yes, there have been times (many, many times!) when I have prayed with great faith for healing over my pain. Though it situationally has happened at times … God has chosen not to heal my pain as of yet. But, I am telling you … my faith still remains strong that complete healing will be found either on this side of heaven or the other. The key is to keep an eternal view … not a temporal one.
I am thankful for God’s grace weather he sustains me … or heals me.
When searching scripture for God’s healing … it became very apparent to me … there was more scripture to be found on what God can do through “pain” to bring us closer to Him than a life filled with ease. The important piece to keep in mind is that God wants us to seek Him, to call on Him … so He can hear us and restore us (Jeremiah 29).
So that brought me to the question …. What REALLY is God’s restoration? I found that I want to again make “restoration” a temporal thing. Restore my pain … Restore my finances … Restore my relationships … Restore my weight to a quaint 125! But restoration is not temporal … it is an eternal unchangeable circumstance. It is:
- A fulfillment of prophecy (Acts 3)
- That is completed by Jesus (Mathew 17 & Mark 9)
- Where man is restored under the reign of Christ, creating a life in which the consequences of sin are no longer present. (my analogy)
Currently, I am writing this following a Spinal Cord Stimulator Surgery where my pain is cumulatively greater than before the surgery. Did I ask God … WHAT’S UP????? WHERE ARE WE GOING HERE??? WHAT IS YOUR PLAN?? Why …. yes, I did … It is called a lament … and Scripture (especially in the Psalms) is filled with them.
The thing is … prayers of lament can be a form of worship and faith … if we pour out the pains in our heart to God … if we walk towards God instead of backing away from Him …if we figure out how to “lay our burdens at His feet” … if we face our pain and worship God anyway ……and … If we allow Him to work us in a way that brings greatest growth to us and glory to Him.
I suppose my bottom line is: God may heal us, He may work us, but with an eternal perspective … He most certainly will restore us.