Whatever pain that you are experiencing right now can produce a better you! Yes, it should actually create a better you. How do you mean? You may ask.
I have discovered that no experience has the ability to refine our character more than a painful one. No wonder the Bible says in Hebrews 12:11 (NLT) that, “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening–it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” Every pain is a form of discipline. And there is a harvest of right living that follows the pain if you will allow yourself to be trained or taught by it.
To benefit from any form of pain, you will first and foremost need to change the way you perceive it. If you see it as an unfair punishment, you will probably react as a victim absorbed in self-pity or calling for a pity party. On the other hand, if you see it as a means of learning, you are most likely to approach it with the aim of getting the most out of it, even if it is painful. You will discover that taking a positive outlook on problems seems to shorten its’ duration as the time seems to go by more quickly, while a negative attitude seems to prolong the season of pain.
One decision I have made as I go through life is that I will never allow any of my painful experiences to be wasted. And to go through pain and not be able to count your gains at the end of the experience is a waste. So, the following are a few of the many invaluable benefits that pain has produced in me.
- Brokenness: According to Dr. Bill Iverson (son of Dan Iverson, a Presbyterian pastor and author of the hymn “Spirit of the Living God fall afresh on me”), “If you are broken, you don’t have to ask to be used. God delights to use broken people.” Naturally, no one enjoys brokenness because of the excruciating pain associated with it. However, many times, we are so self-conceited and so self-reliant that God cannot use us. In this state, we tend to think that whatever we do or achieve is by our own knowledge, strength, and ability, and God receives no glory from us. However, when you have been broken and crushed, and something good eventually comes out of your life, no one needs to tell you to glorify God before you do. I am grateful for experiences that crushed me, humbled me, and made me a useful vessel in the hands of the Master.
- Compassion: There is nothing that builds compassion more than experience. When you see someone going through what you have been through, it is very easy to connect with that person because you can feel their pain. For me, the painful experiences I have been through have made me more tender-hearted, not just to people who are experiencing similar things but to anyone that I see suffering. This compassion makes me want to reach out and help in any way that I can, and I believe that is ministry! I have come to discover that the most effective outreach is reaching out to people in areas that you suffered and survived.
- Patience: My experiences also produced in me the ability to wait. If you ever find yourself trapped in an elevator and you press buttons for it to open, and it does not, the best thing to do will be to press for help and wait for the operator to come and open it. Meanwhile, you could wait hysterically, wearing yourself out, or you could wait patiently. Many times, when you start waiting hysterically, and nothing happens, you quieten down and learn to be patient. The same is with many other painful experiences that we go through. When you try to impatiently change your situation, and nothing happens, you learn to wait. I have learnt to wait patiently with God because I have discovered that is how to obtain His promises and receive rewards for all my labour. My experiences have also taught me to be a lot more patient with people as well.
In summary, my painful experiences had made me more humane, and because of it, I now have a heart that is willing to help other people going through suffering. Have you benefitted in any way from pain? I would like to hear from you.
I will be speaking more about maximising the benefits from your pains over the month, so make sure to join me on our Facebook page or YouTube channel. I would also love to hear from you. Would you mind dropping a comment and sharing the benefit(s) that you have gotten from pain?