Praise through the Pain
1Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.3Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,5and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.—Romans 5:1-5
You really can praise God through intense pain. I know because it happened to me. I never thought I would be able to praise the Lord while uncontrollably weeping on a hospital bathroom floor, but I did. On July 23, 2012 my wife and I lost our daughter after 20 weeks of pregnancy. By God’s grace we were able to hold our sweet Hope while experiencing His love in ways we never imagined. Though we knew God was sovereign over the whole situation, our hearts were deeply hurt, and we learned to praise through the pain.
Do you remember a pain that left you weak and motionless when its incalculable weight upon you seemed to say there was no way through it? Here’s the truth; God provides a way: we rejoice in our sufferings. This is not a cold rejoicing that says swallow hard, move on, and white-knuckle your way through the pain. This rejoicing is the result of the love of God shining in your darkest hour.
You see, God compassionately gives us a gift that takes the weight of the pain and transfers it to the beauty and strength of His glory. What is this gift? Christlikeness. In the agony we experience we are given the endurance Christ had on His way to the cross, the character Christ had on the cross, and the hope Christ gave through the cross. And this hope does not put us to shame, because Christ despised the shame (Heb. 12:2), and so should we. For hope in Christ despises sin, and its effects, by declaring it has no hold on us because we are gripped by the loving hand of God.
We can praise through pain because Christ endured the greatest of pain so we can experience God’s love in our darkest hour. God pours His pure, undefiled, spirit-filled love into our hearts, because that is where it hurts the most. Our minds can be focused, we can think about other things, but our hearts will still be pained. How good of God to show the depth of His love for us in the depths of our pain.
Whether we are living through the most painful moment of our lives, or know that pain is coming, may we be comforted knowing though the wounds of this world may cut deep, the love of the Lord goes deeper. May we praise through the pain knowing, with full assurance, the comforting hand of God is using the tragedy of today for the triumph of tomorrow. —John Cox
· In what ways has the love of Christ outshined the darkest moments in my life?
· What was the hardest time of my life and what righteousness did God produce through it?
Father, when life hurts, I know You are healing. When I feel alone, I know You are fully present. When I feel lost, I know I am found in You. Lord, thank You for wasting nothing, including my pain. Thank You for taking the biggest threat against me and using it to build up the greatest of strengths. In Jesus’ name, Amen.