Purpose in the Pain; Guest Piece

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tell me that You hurt for me. 
Tell me that You feel my pain and understand.
Tell me that I matter and am cherished.
Tell me I can get through anything with You.
Tell me that it's going to be okay.
Tell me that I'm not crazy or messed up. 
Tell me that life really isn’t just a dream and bring me back to reality.

Show me that there is purpose.
Show me that it's all for my good and Yours.
Show me that life is worth living and that my worth comes from You.
Show me that I am loved beyond words.
Show me that You know my pain and cry for me.
Show me that You hurt for me. 

This was a prayer I cried out the Lord one night, with tears streaming down my face. I was in a place of brokenness and pain. I was losing sight of my purpose and losing sight of God. I was blinded and couldn't see God by my side with His comforting hand on my shoulder.

In this world you will have trouble. (John 16:33) 

Everyone goes through hard times in their lives and feels broken, lost, and in pain at one point or another, but we must remember that God will never give us more than what we can handle. 

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)

Right now, you may be having problems with parents, school, addiction, financial problems, relationships, etc. Do not forget, though, that God makes things work out for our good. He will not leave you alone in the valley.

I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8) 

Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. (Isaiah 43:1-2 )

It can sometimes seem like we are the only ones in despair, but a lot of people in the Bible experienced periods of suffering: Joseph in prison; Elijah in the wilderness; Paul in prison; John on Patmos; etc. 
Ladies, God never forsakes His children. Joseph later became the ruler of all Egypt. Elijah was taken to heaven. Paul's and John's writings are still read by millions today. And Jesus is now with His Father in glory. God is refining us, even through our suffering. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. Endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. A hope will not lead to disappointment.

For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. (Romans 5:3-5)

It’s comforting to know that even Jesus felt some of the same despairs we do. He can say, 'I have endured your sorrows, experienced your struggles, encountered your temptations. I know your tears; I also have wept. The griefs that lie too deep to be breathed into any human ear, I know. Think not that you are desolate and forsaken, though your pain may touch no responsive chord in any heart on earth, look unto Me, and live,'" (Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 483).
I struggle with the pain and aftermath of sexual abuse. It has been a long road to healing and it's a fight to keep my eyes on God and not fall into depression. Psalms 6 is where I find my comfort:

O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath.
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled.
My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O Lord—how long?
Turn, O Lord, deliver my life;
save me for the sake of your steadfast love.
For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who will give you praise?
I am weary with my moaning;
every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping.
My eye wastes away because of grief;
it grows weak because of all my foes.
Depart from me, all you workers of evil,
for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer.
All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled; they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.

Fighting is part of survival. Consider the trees; they fight winds, drought, and injuries. There seems to be continual tragedies for them, with periods of recovery in between. Yet, they fight because they desire to accomplish the purpose our Creator gave them: to provide oxygen, shade, homes for animals, etc. Through it all, the trees stand mighty and strong; their great roots, deep in the soil keeping them firmly in place.

Until God restores all things that sin has destroyed, He wants us to trust His judgment and decisions for our life. God will restore what Satan has destroyed in the attack- some now, the rest when Jesus returns. He has a million ways to save us from Satan's attacks and the moment we start worrying, we take the place that God should have in our lives. When we want to be our own saviors, so we start thinking up our own solutions. Yet, we can't find any that are satisfactory or sufficient. This is because our true satisfaction and fulfillment comes from God and God alone.

The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 1:4-6 that, “God comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things.

God often allows us to go through a problem so that we can then help others with what we learn and walk away with. Know that there is a purpose for your suffering. Maybe it's to help others going through the same thing, or to be a light in the darkness. Whatever it is, there is something that only you can do; something that you were made for.

You are strong, you are powerful, and you have the King of the universe on your side.

May you soak in this truth today so that you may also walk in it. 

{Photo: @m_pearson} 

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About the Author:

Karial Ret is a 17-year-old high school senior from Egypt. Karial lived in Egypt until she I was six years old, and then moved to the US. Karial loves being outdoors and surrounded by God's creation. She also enjoys doing things with her crazy and fun group of friends. Karial plays guitar and viola on the worship team at her church and shares a deep love for using music and writing to express herself. Karial has a dream to be a writer in the future.


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