Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Praise through the Pain...

When I was a kid I loved to ride my bike. I would spend hours after school or in the summer riding. I was a little bit of a daredevil, so I would ride with “no hands” or kick my feet up off the pedals… I was always ready to race someone and most of the time it was my older sister who was my chosen opponent. One day I was racing back into our driveway, at what seemed to be at least 25 mph (more like 5 mph), when our big Husky mixed dog ran into the path of my bike… let me say, it was not a pretty sight! I hit that dog with my front tire which caused me to fly over the right-side of the handle bars and into the gravel… sliding in forward motion as those little stones scraped up my right knee and shin. I was a screaming, crying, bloody mess! Of course the wound had to be cleaned and my grandma Bessie was just the person to do it. I can remember crying and carrying-on… I knew it was gonna hurt and Grandma was gonna use soap and peroxide to get all the bad stuff out! I thought she was so mean! But she knew that if the wound wasn’t cleaned good, infection could set in. I had to endure the pain of the cleansing so I could heal.

There are so many times in life when we are in pain… whether physical, emotional, or spiritual pain… it is not “fun” to go through. If you are asking yourself, “why is God letting me go through this pain?” Maybe you can find comfort by reading John 15:1-11.

Whether our pain is caused from uncaring people that have abused us or it is caused from careless choices we have made… our Heavenly Father is here to “wash” out that wound and make us clean. The process is not pleasant but the outcome will be so worth it! If the hurt causes bad feelings and the pain is left to fester, it will cause bitterness and unforgiveness which in turn causes more pain… infecting every part of your life. Just believe that even in your darkest hour you will find comfort if you praise Him.

“He placed a new song in my mouth, a song of praise
to our God. Many will see this and worship.
They will trust the LORD.” Psalm 40:3

What do you do about it?… First you need to figure out where the pain is coming from… examine your heart… ask God to show you what is causing your pain… is it something left from childhood… is the cause careless choices you have made… is it a spiritual testing… or is it a “pruning” that will lead to more growth and fruit in your life? He will show you what it is… He loves us so much that He is not willing to let us stay in our current condition. Father wants us to keep growing day by day… moving closer to Him and to His glory.

“He removes every one of My branches that doesn’t
produce fruit. He also prunes every branch that does produce
fruit to make it produce more fruit.” John 15:2

It is through trusting our Creator that we have healing and the ultimate victory… leaving us in a place to praise Him in the pain!

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes;
there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.
There shall be no more pain, for the former
things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4

Oh, BTW… I did have a bad scar on my knee for the longest time, but it healed without infection. I guess the scar had to stay long enough to remind me of my carelessness on that summer day. And yes, my grandma did the right thing by cleaning it out… I hope I thanked her for loving me enough to cause the pain that would heal.

“Thank God that He gives us the victory through
our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Corinthians 15:57

Just a thought: Use your pain to praise… don’t let your pain use you to stop your progress.

I pray that you will find joy and peace in the midst of your pain.  I pray that through praise the chains of hopelessness and depression will be unlocked and that you will freely rejoice in the Lord as you walk through this trial.  I pray that you will renew your strength as you praise Him. In Jesus' name, Amen