John 13:7 (NIV) Jesus replied, ‘You don’t realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’
Five ways God uses pain for my good:
1. God uses pain to goad me.
Proverbs 20:30 (GNT) Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways.
Luke 15:14-18 (GNT) “He spent everything he had. ‘…I am about to starve!’ … At last he came to his senses and said, ‘…I’ll get up and go to my father…’”
2. God uses pain to guide me.
Psalm 119:71-72 (TLB) …the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me to pay attention to your laws.
Hebrews 12:7 (TLB) Let God train you, for he is doing what any loving father does for his children. Whoever heard of a son who was never corrected?
3. God uses pain to gauge me.
Isaiah 48:10 (NIV) See, I have refined you, though not as silver, I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
James 1:2-3 (MSG) …tests and challenges come at you from all sides. [And] You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.
Deuteronomy 8:2 (TLB) …the Lord led you through the wilderness for all those forty years, humbling you and testing you to find out how you would respond, and whether or not you would really obey him?
4. God uses pain to guard me.
5. God uses pain to grow me.
James 1:3-4 (TLB) …for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems… then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete.
James 1:4 (MSG) So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, …
2 Corinthians 1:9 (Phillips) Yet we believe now that we had this experience … that we might learn to trust, not in ourselves, but in God…
2 Corinthians 7:9 (TLB) Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you but because the pain turned you to God.
1 Peter 4:19 (TLB) So if you are suffering according to God’s will, keep on doing what is right and trust yourself to the God who made you, for he will never fail you.
Growing Deeper Together
Use these points throughout the week as part of your quiet time, in your small group, or over coffee with a friend to help you apply what you learned in today’s message.
• Examine your heart: What pain are you holding on to?
Be truthful with yourself and with God. Identify where you are ignoring or hiding from pain as a first step toward healing.
• Evaluate what God may want to use your current pain for.
Spend time with God to discover how he wants to work in your life through this pain. Talk with your mentor, friend, or accountability partner about it and put the lesson into practice.
• Have you had a mentor or accountability partner? Is it time for you to be one to someone else?
Meet with a pastor or ministry leader to help you know how to get started. Invite someone to coffee and just ask about their life; see how God prompts you to encourage them. Ask two or three others to join you in reading a book or doing a study together where you’ll have an opportunity to pray with, give insight to, and encourage them in their relationship with Jesus.
With a passion for Christ that is undeniable, Shane directly involves his listeners in each message. He speaks with high energy and delivers powerful teaching that is relevant to current life issues.
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