Purpose in Pain
Sometimes it can be hard to see how God could possibly use the pain of our past for good. Yet, over and over in the Bible, we see examples of God taking the darkest, most difficult situations in people’s lives and using them for His glory.
Genesis 37-50 tells the story of Joseph whose brothers were so full of jealousy and hatred for him that they sold him into slavery. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the lies of his master’s wife landed him in jail. Like many of us, he faced overwhelming feelings of betrayal, rejection, and abandonment—but God was at work. Eventually, because of his seemingly hopeless circumstances, Joseph became Pharaoh’s second in command with the power to save his family and all of Egypt from famine and death. Looking back, Joseph is able to acknowledge that God had never left him but was quietly coordinating a miracle all along.
Like Joseph, we all experience pain and heartache. Some of us even suffer unspeakable tragedy or inexcusable abuse. However, stories like this give us hope that, with God, we can find purpose in our pain.
Many times, our hurts give us the opportunity to positively impact this world in a way that no one else can. I’ve heard it said that only those who’ve lost a parent can really understand what that loss feels like. It’s true. The loss of my dad still hurts today, but I can see now that it gives me the ability to speak into others’ lives and comfort them on a level that few others can. In my experience, our pain can actually lead us toward our purpose.
Maybe because of your past, you’re uniquely qualified to give someone hope for their marriage, or maybe the challenges you’re facing with your teen can help other families recognize the warning signs of self harm. Maybe because of your struggles, you can help someone through infertility, addiction, or a cancer diagnosis. Whatever your story is, there’s beauty and power in choosing to be vulnerable enough to share your testimony with others.
If you’re currently living through a hard season, you may not be able to think about what God has for you in the future. That’s ok. At this moment, you don’t have to know how God will use your pain. Just know that He will. Let that give you hope to carry you through.
God, thank you for promising me that you won’t let all the hard things I’ve gone through in my life be for nothing. Thank you for promising to work ALL things for my good. Jesus, I give you all the dark, ugly, and imperfect pieces of my past and trust that you’ll turn them into something beautiful. Bring me healing and show me how to use my past for your purposes. Fill me with hope and confidence in you. It’s in Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
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