Your pain often reveals God's purpose for you. God never wastes a hurt!
If you've gone through a hurt, he wants you to help other people going through a similar hurt. He wants you to share it. God can use the problems in your life to give you a ministry to others. In fact, the very thing you're most ashamed of in your life and resent the most, could become your greatest ministry in helping other people.
Who can better help somebody going through a bankruptcy than somebody who went through a bankruptcy? Who can better help somebody struggling with an addiction than somebody who's struggled with an addiction? Who can better help parents of a special needs child than parents who raised a special needs child? Who can better help somebody who's lost a child than somebody who lost a child?
The very thing you hate the most in your life is what God wants to use for good in your life.
The Bible says God is the one "who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble by the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. ... If we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective in enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation" (2 Cor. 1:4, 6, MEV).
This is called redemptive suffering. Redemptive suffering is when you go through a problem or a pain for the benefit of others.
This is what Jesus did. When Jesus died on the cross,He didn't deserve to die. He went through that pain for your benefit so that you can be saved and go to heaven.
There are many different causes for the problems, pains and suffering in your life. Sometimes the stuff that happens you bring on yourself. When you make stupid decisions, then it causes pain in your life. If you go out and overspend and buy things you can't afford and presume on the future, and then you go deeply in debt and lose your house, you can't say, "God, why did You let me lose my house?" You can't blame God for your bad choices.
But in some of your problems, you're innocent. You've been hurt by the pain, stupidity and sins of other people. And some of the pain in your life is for redemptive suffering. God often allows us to go through a problem so that we can then help others.
Talk It Over
- What are some of the problems in your life that you have questioned God about or wondered why they had to happen to you?
- How can you use your painful experience to minister to others?
- Why do you think God does not always reveal His purpose to us? How should we respond when this is the case?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of pastors.com, a global internet community for pastors.
For the original article, visit pastorrick.com.
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