No Pain, No Gain

by Larry Hehn on May 28, 2012

pain“God can’t use a person to the maximum, until he or she has been hurt deeply.” – A.W. Tozer

There are times in our lives when we choose pain. Talk to an athlete in competition, a pregnant woman or even a client in a tattoo parlor, and you will hear of their willingness to go through a period of suffering to reap a certain reward.

Give me a good enough cause, assure me that the pain is only temporary, and I can bear just about anything for a season.

If only every hurt had a reason and reward attached…

Yeah, right.

Try to present a good reason to someone who has lost a spouse, a parent, a sibling, child or best friend.

Conjure up a reward for someone suffering from a painful terminal illness.

Do your best to make sense of it when it’s someone else’s pain (ok, maybe not) because it sure won’t make sense if – and when – it’s your own.

Or will it?

“God could have plans to do something through your pain that extends far beyond your own life and times…He may give you through the pain an increased capacity to help others who suffer. He may change the course of history through your pain, but you may never discover its wider meaning.” – John White

I honestly don’t know whether our every hurt has a purpose or not.

What I do know is that we can use our times of trial to either push God away or draw closer to Him.

And it’s only by trusting in His mercy and goodness that I give Him a chance to bring me through the pain into joy.

Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will give us later. – Romans 8:18

“A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” – John 16:21-22

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Jason May 28, 2012 at 9:19 am

Pushing through to joy would be nice. 🙂

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Larry Hehn May 28, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Hang in there, Jason. Praying for you!

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David Rupert May 28, 2012 at 11:31 am

All suffering for the time being seems … useless. But for every lesson learned, usually there is pain in the rear view mirror. Great post larry. In fact, I’m going to link to it from my Friday post, “A little Water Wont Hurt”

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Larry Hehn May 28, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Thank you, David.
Here’s a link for all who want to catch David’s post:
http://redletterbelievers.blogspot.ca/2012/05/little-water-wont-hurt.html

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David Rupert May 29, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Thanks so much. Of course, the first post about this came in Hebrews.
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it”
David Rupert recently posted..Is retirement an option for the Christian?My Profile

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Kevin Martineau May 29, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Great points Larry!

We may never know why we are going through a season of pain but we can know that God is with us through it.
Kevin Martineau recently posted..An inspirational love storyMy Profile

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Larry Hehn May 29, 2012 at 10:43 pm

Amen, Kevin. Thanks!

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Juan Cruz Jr May 29, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Larry, when I lost my first wife over 11 years ago to cancer my first thought and actions was to push God away. But looking back I recognized that if was it wasn’t because of the pain that I went through, I wouldn’t be as close to him now compared to them. Great post. God Bless.
Juan Cruz Jr recently posted..Leaders light FiresMy Profile

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Larry Hehn May 29, 2012 at 10:43 pm

Wow, I really appreciate you sharing this, Juan. Blessings!

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Liz McLennan May 30, 2012 at 2:08 pm

When my brother passed away, I stayed mired in grief and anger – towards him, towards his choices, towards God – for a long, long time.

Somewhere along the way, I read that one person’s grief is mirrored in another’s joy and vice versa. For whatever reason, it gave me the comfort I needed to emerge on the other side of the pain of losing Andrew. And it somehow allowed me to believe that his life (and his death) must serve a purpose, just maybe not one I can see/will see ever.

That simple faith – and the belief that my only sibling is in Heaven, chilling with God and making Him laugh – anchors me when I flail. It comforts me and gives me something to look forward to, at the end of it all.

On a lighter note, I’ve just begun working out with Jillian Michaels’ “Ripped in 30” DVD. Frankly, it’s kicking my a**, but – if it doesn’t kill me first – I’m looking forward to the results at the end of it all.
Liz McLennan recently posted..Sunny Days…My Profile

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Larry Hehn May 30, 2012 at 9:08 pm

It’s always a pleasure to hear from you, Liz. Both great examples!

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seekingpastor May 31, 2012 at 11:13 pm

To borrow and misquote a Charles Spurgeon quote–“When you can’t trace His hand you must trust His heart.”
seekingpastor recently posted..Possible Copycats of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire HunterMy Profile

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Larry Hehn June 8, 2012 at 11:43 am

Great quote, Matt. Thanks!

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Debbie Simler-Goff June 7, 2012 at 6:43 am

Larry,

Thank-you for this post. You expound on the timeless truth of necessary pain in a way that pushes me to embrace my present ‘pain situation.’

Although my humanity struggles to acknowledge it. Pain is indeed one of God’s choicest and most effective tools in His ‘soul-making’ tool box.

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Larry Hehn June 8, 2012 at 11:44 am

I’m glad that this resonated with you, Debbie. Thank you for sharing!

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Brandon Clements June 10, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Love that John White quote. Great post Larry.

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Larry Hehn June 10, 2012 at 11:03 pm

Thank you, Brandon. Glad to meet you!

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