For the Glory of God

Photo by Matilda Vigerova

Photo by Matilda Vigerova

Recently I have had the saying “God never wastes pain” be shared with me. To be honest, I had never heard that before. A friend asked me to blog about that topic and then I read it in a card someone hand-wrote to my sister. My first thought on that is “God doesn’t waste anything, but we do.”

Forgive me if this post seems to ramble as I’m not really sure how to address this topic. There are different kinds of pain: physical, emotional, and spiritual. We can experience one or all of them in our life times because we live in a fallen world. Sin has contaminated every aspect of creation and mankind. Therefore, pain and trouble are a normal part of this life.

However, the Bible gives us many assurances that God the Father made the way for salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ and Jesus promised He would never leave us or forsake us. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to live in us as proof that He’d never leave us or forsake us. (And that He is coming back for us!)

So what in the world does this have to do with the phrase “God never wastes pain”? Let’s look at a few scripture verses.

16 Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. 17 For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. 18 So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (HCSB)

9 But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (HCSB)

Resist him and be firm in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world. 10 Now the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will personally restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little. 1 Peter 5: 9-10 (HCSB)

10 It would still bring me comfort, and I would leap for joy in unrelenting pain that I have not denied the words of the Holy One. Job 6:10 (HCSB)

Again, I’d not heard the saying the “God never wastes pain” until recently. I believe God allows each believer to choose whether or not we will trust in Him during our pain so as to glorify Him in our suffering.I believe that, regardless of the type of pain we face, God will redeem our pain so we may grow in our faith and be conformed more into His image while He is glorified IF we let Him.

There have been times in my life that I wasted some pain that God carried me through by not using that time as a means to point others to Jesus. But when I repented of my selfishness and self-pity, God redeemed that pain to be used for His glory.

He redeemed that pain that by allowing me to minister to others who were going through pain similar to mine. He has given me opportunities to share my story with others so they could know they were not alone in that particular pain.

I’m not alone in this. I’ve seen God redeem believers pain again and again when they allowed God to use them to minister to others. I’ve seen physical pain redeemed by our Great God when believers grow in a more intimate walk with Him due to that pain.

Our lives, as believers, should be lived for the glory of God. That means every aspect should be for His glory, our pain included.

One of the main ways we move from abstract knowledge about God to a personal encounter with him as a living reality is through the furnace of affliction.
— Tim Keller