The True Ministry Of Pain

The True Ministry Of Pain
There is a Christian art of enduring pain which we should seek to learn. The real problem is not just to endure the suffering which falls into our life, to bear it bravely, without wincing, to pass through it patiently, even rejoicingly. Pain has a higher mission to us than to teach us heroism. We should endure it in such a way as to get something of blessing out of it. It brings to us some message from God which we should not fail to hear. It lifts for us the veil that hides God's face, and we should get some new glimpses of his beauty every time we are called to suffer. Pain is furnace-fire, and we should come out of it always with the gold of our character gleaming a little more brightly. Every experience of suffering ought in some way to lift us nearer God, to make us more gentle and loving, and to leave the image of Christ shining a little clearer in our lives.

Every hard duty that lies in your path, that you would rather not do, that it will cost you pain or struggle or sore effort to do, has a blessing in it. Not to do it, at whatever cost, is to miss the blessing. Every hard piece of road on which you see the Master's shoe-prints, and along which he bids you follow him, surely leads to a blessing, which you cannot get if you cannot go over the steep, thorny path. Every point of battle to which you come, where you must draw your sword and fight with the enemy, has in it a possible victory which will prove a rich blessing to your life. Every heavy load that you are called to lift hides in itself some strange secret of strength.

God carries many of his children into the darkened rooms of affliction; and when they come forth again there is more of the beauty of Christ in their souls. We get many of the best things of our lives out of suffering and pain. It may be the easiest, but it surely is not the best, life and the most blessed that is free from trial. The crown is not given to untried lives.

Romans 8:18: For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (KJV)
1 Peter 1:6-7: Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: (KJV)
1 Peter 3:14-18: But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: (KJV)
Revelation 3:18-19: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. (KJV)

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