Are you wondering if God has a purpose for your pain? I’ve asked the same question even as I walked through a painful divorce, and this is what He’s taught me.
“I don’t love you. I never loved you.” Those were the harsh words that kept repeating over and over in my mind. How could he have married me if he’d never loved me?
Just a few months earlier he had decided to move in with his girlfriend. We had only been married a few short years and now I was brokenhearted and spent many lonely nights in the house that we had once shared.
My mind swirled with so many questions. What was wrong with me? Why wasn’t I worth fighting for?
In those moments of loneliness I would cry out to God for comfort, for anything really.
I wondered if there was purpose in the pain as I walked through that dark road in my early twenties. Here’s what God taught me and reminds me to this day.
4 Reminders When You Wonder If God Has A Purpose For Your Pain
As a Christian you’re not promised a perfect life.
In fact in John 16:33 we’re told that we will have trouble.
But I’m so thankful the verse doesn’t stop there. It goes on to say, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
No matter what pain you walk through or what happens in your life God is always in control!
When the painful days come cling to the promise from scripture in Romans 8:28.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
1. God Has A Plan For Your Pain
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
To be honest, there have been days when it doesn’t feel like God has the best plan for my life.
But even as I dig through scripture I can see tons of stories where He had a plan for the pain that He allowed people to walk through and remind myself that He has a plan for my pain too.
Remember the story of Lazarus in John 11?
Mary and Martha were upset because Jesus didn’t get there in time to heal their brother Lazarus.
Jesus had a plan that they couldn’t see and after Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days He raised him from the dead.
Verse 45 says, “Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.”
Jesus knew Lazarus’ death and resurrection was the only way that some people would believe in Him.
What about the the woman at the well?
We meet the Samaritan woman (the woman at the well) in John 4.
Just the small glimpse we have into her life lets us know that it’s likely been a hard life (living with six different men).
But God had a plan for her pain, and after she received His free gift of salvation she went and told everyone about Him.
Verse 39 says, “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony.”
How you walk through your storm might affect those around you. You could point them to God or away from Him.
What if God used your situation to draw people to Himself?
2. God Sees Us When We’re Struggling
My soon-to-be toddler son’s face exuded joy every time he accomplished his new-found trick of rolling over.
He had rolled over the day before – multiple times, in fact – so there was no doubt in my mind that he could do it again.
But this time it was harder for him.
He would sway his body one way but his head would go the opposite direction. He just couldn’t quite get it.
No mother wants to see her child struggle, and it took everything within me not to reach out and flip him over. It would have been so easy to do it for him, but if I did how could he ever learn?
As I listened to him grunt and watched him struggle I was reminded that our Heavenly Father watches over us in much the same way that I was watching Dalton.
He sees you struggle.
He hears your cries.
He can “fix” your situation but He chooses not to because He wants to teach you something and/or grow your faith.
He’s there cheering you on every step of the way.
God will do His greatest work in your life in the most unlikely situations. Will you let Him into your pain.
3. God Is With Us Through Our Pain
As I walked through my divorce one verse in particular resounded in my heart over and over again.
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” – John 10:27-29
Much like I did, find comfort knowing that no matter what trials you face or who may hurt you in this life, you will always be safe in the Father’s arms!
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” – Isaiah 43:1b-2
Just as the Lord was with the Israelites, He’s with us too!
Sometimes God doesn’t take us around the storm but leads us through it. – Brady Cooper
4. We Must Trust God In The Difficult Situations of Life
I don’t know about you but when I’m walking through a difficult situation it’s hard to even think about it being part of the Lord’s will.
My brain can’t fathom the fact that good can or will come out of such pain.
But that’s what trust is all about isn’t it?
Trust is a confident expectation of something; hope.
So you can trust in His promise knowing that He holds your future in His hands and He’s going to work everything out for good in your life.
I love the words of Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
When life gets tough what or who are you trusting in?
Related: 50 Verses About Trusting God
Bible Verses To Comfort You In Your Pain
It may seem cliche, but the best thing for me to do when I want to stop worrying is to speak scripture over my situation.
Find a verse that speaks deep into your heart and repeat it over and over. Memorize it. Put it on your bathroom mirror. Cling to God’s promise and never let it go!
For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’
‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.’
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.
God has to have a purpose for your pain or He wouldn’t allow you to go through it!
Wouldn’t it be neat to find out in Heaven that God had a purpose for you pain and used it to draw one of your friends or family members to Himself?
May the evidence of your life lead people to know and say you’ve been with Jesus!
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