Pain is a purifying factor in Christian believers. What does that mean?

Posted: January 11, 2018 in Uncategorized

First, the “purification” is to make us more like Jesus: “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:1–5; “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2–3 (italics mine) This kind of purification comes through the “normal” kind of suffering the Christian will encounter: from persecution, sickness, loss of loved ones, economic downturns, natural disasters, etc., things beyond our control. This kind of suffering forces us to rely on God to strengthen our faith, meet our needs, heal us, see us through recovery—or see us “home”, and console us in our grief. We are to be grateful to god in ALL circumstances, for we should know that all things work together for our good eventually. (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18; Romans 8:28)

Second, If pain can be compared to the refinement of metals, Isaiah says, “See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.” This form of purification is to cleanse us of sin. Note that the context of the verse is Israel’s chastisement:

“You have neither heard nor understood;

from of old your ears have not been open.

Well do I know how treacherous you are;

you were called a rebel from birth.

For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath;

for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you,

so as not to destroy you completely.

See, I have refined you, though not as silver;

I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.

For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this.

How can I let myself be defamed?

I will not yield my glory to another.”

Isaiah 48:8–11

Third, sometimes, “a cigar is just a cigar”, so, pain is just pain. It’s our body’s way of saying, “Hey! Don’t do that again, dummy!” I don’t think the Lord is much behind the pain we experience when we get in a hurry and cut the tip of a finger off slicing vegetables or stubbing our toes confidently walking across a dark room, other than blessing us with the natural gift pain is…and perhaps to tell us to slow down and pay attention.

Image result for stub your toe

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