Pain in Perspective
The apostle Paul knew a lot about suffering. He wrote in 2 Corinthians 1:8-9, "We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead."
What a candid admission from the apostle: We didn't think we would live through this. We thought we were going to die. So here is what we did. We stopped relying on ourselves and instead started relying on God.
Paul also said that we should take the comfort that we have received from the Lord and share it with others: "He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ" (2 Corinthians 1:4-5).
I think we would have a different perspective on our pain if we could see what real pain is. There might be someone reading this who is really suffering. But I think a lot of times our suffering isn't as bad as we think it is. We need perspective.
I have gone to the hospital countless times to visit people who were dying, and they did a better job of ministering to me than I did ministering to them. They would share what the Lord is showing them through the Scripture, how He is making His comfort known to them, and how He is strengthening them. And I walked out with a new perspective because those people helped me.
Summary sentence: When we see what true suffering is like, we gain a different perspective.
Copyright © 2012 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.