Acceptance of Pain

Trials are not only to aright their tilting spiritual boat, but also an occasion for God to reveal His power and presence like never before.

Clinical studies among college students who underwent focused physical training have shown that acceptance of pain enhances pain endurance and tolerance, and acceptance is more important than attention to pain or its control. Acceptance of pain happens when there is a commitment to the cause, which in turn is birthed out of love – love not only for the cause but also for the Person behind it. Apostle Paul writes, love endures all things. The US NBA basketball season of this year has ended, and the winners took the ring because they endured the pain of this unprecedented season. Love for the game and passion for the ring made the winners endure training by the coach and showdowns in the courts. Without suffering the season for a heavenly reason, there is no ring or a crown!

Pain and suffering are God’s time-tested method of drawing attention to Him. Irrespective of religious affiliation, all men cry to their god amidst pain, just as the sailors and Jonah the prophet cried to their gods while facing the tumultuous sea. But for a follower of Jesus Christ, trials are not only to aright their tilting spiritual boat, but also an occasion for God to reveal His power and presence like never before. Paul and Silas were put in prison after being badly beaten by the authorities, only for God to demonstrate His ability that sent an earthquake just to the Philippian jail alone. As the psalmist says, Emmanuel’s presence is more felt as we walk through the valleys with looming shadows all around.

Christ reminded His disciples that they need endurance when the world hates them for His name’s sake. Just as Jesus, we also need the endurance to bear the cross. Job is mentioned as an example of enduring pain. Hence, we infer that we are not exempt from sufferings. Paul writes to Timothy that there is no reigning with Christ without enduring the suffering. If reigning is perpetual, then suffering is but for a moment, in comparison of duration. Nevertheless, pain in life continues, so that man of God be refined. Apostle John reveals by the Spirit to Laodiceans that the throne to reign with Christ is reserved for those who overcome the complacency brought by riches of this world. Lack of sufficiency is not the only method of refining a follower of Christ has to undergo, but also the abundance of wealth. Amid adversities and abundance, may the Christian realize that dire trials are to bring us to the destiny of His choice!

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