What purpose could God possibly have in letting us endure pain?
Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
We serve a Savior who suffered greatly on the cross because of His love for us. If we serve a Savior who suffered, it makes sense that we would also suffer, if we are following Him. So why would we choose a life that guarantees hardship? First, our Lord promises He will never leave us or turn His back on us. That brings a peace and hope that can’t be taken away. Second, He has an eternal perspective, so He endured the pain of the cross, to bring an eternal blessing in heaven.
The older I get, the greater my understanding is of how much pain I can handle. It helps if I can see a purpose or blessing to the suffering. There have many times in my life when I saw God’s guiding hand, even though I experienced pain and discouragement.
When we focus on our struggles and wants, depression is just a small step away, but when we open ourselves up to God’s perspective, our anxiety is replaced by peace and joy, even though our circumstances haven’t changed. The challenge is, how do we experience peace of mind, when we are in the eye of the storm. We can look back at all the times when God has been faithful in the past and look ahead with our God given eternal perspective of heaven’s blessings. With an eternal viewpoint, God changes us, even if He doesn’t change our situation.
At a time in history where it seems like God’s love and truth is being ignored and rejected, how does having the hope of eternity structure your perspective?