Finding Purpose in Pain

Over ten years ago, the Lord led me to plant a church in a small town. Emotions drifted between fear and excitement. After much prayer with a small leadership team and raising a budget, we launched out by opening an office, starting a Bible study, and offering free counseling services. There was a strong dark presence over this city and every week I would walk up and down the streets praying.

Unfortunately, around a year, the Lord instructed me to close the office and cease moving forward with this endeavor. I was devastated and all my hopes and dreams for ministry were crushed. Honestly, I was broken. I questioned why God would lead me to something only to take it away. Why did I spend a year of my time praying, crying over a city only to leave? Can you relate to this? Have you been obedient to the Lord only to result in a season of brokenness? Or has this time of Covid-19 triggered depression, anxiety, loss of job, etc?  
If you can relate to this, I want to encourage you today. God can turn your mess into a ministry, your trial into a testimony. God turns all things to our good according to His purposes (Romans 8:28). He does not waste any experience or hardship but reveals His presence, goodness, and grace.

So how can we allow our pain to prompt us to purpose?
1) Take everything to God in prayer. Tell Him how you feel. If it worked for David (read through the psalms) then it is good for us.
2) Allow the trial to mold you into the image of Christ. Instead of running from the pain, surrender it.
3) Lean not of your own understanding. I still do not know why I had to walk through that failure (or what I saw as a failure), but God knows. God’s ways and thoughts are much higher than ours. When you begin to question, quickly release those thoughts, and submit them to the authority of Christ. We are not required to understand everything, but respond in obedience.
4) Receive healing from the Lord. Give Him access to the depth of your being and ask Him to remove all pain, anger, frustration, grief, and any other emotion you are experiencing.

What is the result when healing and wholeness returns? You can see the glory of God. You will look back and say, “Look what the Lord has done!” What resulted in my situation? I wrote a book entitled, Broken & Transformed: Moving through Life’s Difficult Times which helps countless people to walk from brokenness to wholeness. I know that would never have been possible without the depth of brokenness from closing the church plant.

May you be strengthened today by the knowledge that God is turning your ashes into beauty. Your pain will decrease, yet you will be forever changed.  What remains is the ability to speak life to others and share your story. John says we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Rev 12:11).

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