Responding to Pain

Tim Lemons —  September 1, 2011 — Leave a comment

8I know I distressed you greatly with my letter. Although I felt awful at the time, I don’t feel at all bad now that I see how it turned out. The letter upset you, but only for a while.9 Now I’m glad-not that you were upset, but that you were jarred into turning things around. You let the distress bring you to God, not drive you from him. The result was all gain, no loss.

10 Distress that drives us to God does that. It turns us around. It gets us back in the way of salvation. We never regret that kind of pain. But those who let distress drive them away from God are full of regrets, end up on a deathbed of regrets.

11 And now, isn’t it wonderful all the ways in which this distress has goaded you closer to God? You’re more alive, more concerned, more sensitive, more reverent, more human, more passionate, more responsible. Looked at from any angle, you’ve come out of this with purity of heart.   – 2 Corinthians 7:8-11 (MSG)

Things I love about these verses:

  • Pain can either guide you to God or away from him. It’s your choice (vs9)
  • If you choose to go towards God then you gain from the pain and their is no loss. “God never wastes a hurt” no loss means it was all beneficial. Every bit of it. (vs9)
  • We never regret that kind of pain. I’m going through a divorce. I hate it. So does God.(Mal 2:16) I don’t want it. It hurts. It’s not my choice, but this pain has ultimately brought me and others closer to God so I don’t regret the pain I feel. (vs10)
  • If you choose to move away from God then you will regret it and you wasted a huge opportunity to grow closer to the best friend you’ll ever have (vs10)
  • Look at the fruit that comes into your life if you will draw near to God in your pain (vs11)

It reminds me of proverbs 24:
No matter how many times you trip them up, God-loyal people don’t stay down long; Soon they’re up on their feet, while the wicked end up flat on their faces. (proverbs 24:16)

If you constantly seek God with all your heart no matter what problems happen in your life you’ll ultimately be ok. It’s the second you give up on God or turn away that you end up flat on your face full of regret.

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