Purpose in Pain

This is a re-posting of a comment I made today on a previous blog post. I thought it might be worth sharing as a post of it’s own. It’s probably a bit more of a rant than the more thought out articles I normally post, but I’ve decided to post it as is. Perhaps it’ll help someone today.

There is a picture in my head which I don’t think I’ve ever been able to adequately express to anyone with words, but it’s something like this: We see and accept that nature has laws, but God is the source of those laws. What is “natural” are those things in harmony with God, while anything not acknowledging, relying on, and magnifying his glory is in fact “unnatural”. Every good and perfect gift is unidirectionally from him alone. We have no love, no joy, no peace except what comes FROM him and THROUGH us. We are in fact not even ABLE to love him unless he puts that love in us first, for he indeed is the singular source of any such love. In us there is NOTHING good!

So I picture an unseen, heavenly “dimension” of things created which see and abide by this principle. All creation, both seen and unseen, is created for the glory of God and is to operate for that singular purpose; his glory. All God EVER does is for that one reason. Humanity is wholly UNNATURAL in it’s desire to glorify itself. We are cursed and depraved. There are ways that really, truly SEEM completely right to us, but the end thereof leads only to death. These ways are unnatural according to God’s universal decrees…

… yet for reasons unknown he has mercy! By his grace he draws some of us back to life in him and sanctifies us back to what is in fact natural. The things we see as right and wrong, blessing and curses are in fact backward because WE are backward. When God brings us low and causes us to “suffer”, this is seen in the wrong light. In our depravity we mislabel this blessing as curse, when he is in fact breaking us out of a system of thought that keeps us opposed to his kingdom. Our thoughts keep us bound to a kingdom that will perish.

Oh God, have mercy on us! Would you continue to break us free of those things which seem right and make us comfortable, complacent, and ultimately opposed to you! Break our wills that we be restored to our proper function in glorifying you throughout all creation!

We must remember that those things which are seemingly a curse are a temporary and light affliction in view of eternity, and that God corrects (through trial) those he loves. This is done by means of the crucible: “The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the LORD tests hearts.” (Prov 17:3) Precious metals are refined by being brought to a boiling point so that the impurities may be revealed and given up. Likewise, our hearts are refined by the LORD bringing our hearts to a boil so that the evil we harbor is brought forth to be removed.

Don’t run away from pain. Recognize the hand of God at work and ask how you may serve him and yield to him in that season. If you are called according to his purpose then you can rest assured that he is working all things together for both his glory and your good! Rejoice in your trials and know he can be trusted! Seek, then, to serve him by your obedience and glorify him by your offering of praise in the darkness. Let the world wonder at how you rejoice in the middle of pain, and be sure and take none of that praise for yourself so that you may properly function in your ONLY created purpose:

To glorify your creator.