Friday, October 17, 2014

Pain Produces Peace

David cried out of his enemies success “My heart is severely pained within me.” Psalm 55:4.  We often cry out in emotional pain when things are not going our way or seem unfair. Can I get a witness?  It is a common theme of scripture, particularly the Psalms. Asaph cried out at the ways of the wicked and their abundance as did David saying in Psalm 73:16, “When I thought how to understand this, it was too painful for me-.”  Why live a life of faithfulness and purity when it seems that those who don’t- win? Good question.

Emotional pain is hard and even more difficult than physical pain at times. In fact, as I write this morning, I am convalescing from hernia surgery. The physical pain has been more than advertised. My surgeon said before the procedure that I would be able to head to the gym afterwards and work out, “whatever pain you can bear.” Ah, there was the key, the pain was great and more than I could bear without pain medications. It reminded me of pains from another surgery on my hip some seven years ago that caused me to write my book, Great is God’s Faithfulness. It also reminded me of the mental and emotional anguish I wrote about a few weeks ago in this blog entitled, “Hardship.”  Which is greater? I think that all pain can be profound and distressing, even to levels of despair. The psalmist in Ps 116 writes “ The pains of death surrounded me and pangs of Sheol laid hold of me; I found trouble and sorrow.” (vv:3-4).  I took the photo below in New Orleans 9th Ward shortly after Hurricane Katrina had blown through, devastating property and lives. But God has been faithful. I then found victims of the storm, clinging to God's promises and now know that many have rebuilt.

What then or now when you are suffering, in pain? Do we give in and die? Has God abandoned us? The Psalmist continues, “Then I called upon the name of the Lord; “O Lord, I implore You, deliver my soul! Gracious is the Lord, and righteous. Yes, our Lord is merciful. The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low and he saved me. Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you…He has delivered my soul from death, My eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living…Praise the Lord!”  This is an exuberant thanksgiving for deliverance from death by enemies within and without. Pain Produces Peace through the power of the Holy Spirit. "He will keep in perfect peace whose mind is steadfast."(Is 26:3).

Yes, the Lord preserves the faithful (Psalm 31:23). He tells us throughout Scripture that when we come into trials or suffering of all kinds that we are to seek Him for wisdom and strength to overcome the darkness of pain. We should even thank him in and for the pain; for he occupies and pain and praises of his people. He will guide us through the valleys of the shadow of death so we should not fear. He protects and delivers.  So today if you are in pain and don’t know where to turn, turn to the Lord, cry out and He will hear you and save you and bring you PEACE. Praise the Lord!!

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