Posted On September 4, 2019

Pain Will Not Have the Last Word

by | Sep 4, 2019 | The Gospel and the Christian Life, Featured

Pain has taken its toll on me — physically, emotionally, and mentally. The damage isn’t always visible on my face or in my words, but it’s always there, tempting me to view everything through the lens of an aching heart and a weary spirit.

No one lives this life untouched. We all experience the brokenness and frailty of this world in one way or another. Whether we face daily disappointments, an aging body, a life-altering illness, abuse, broken relationships, or loss, the pain we experience becomes woven into the fabric of our lives. It changes us, sometimes leaving us with scars or a limp.

Invisible Scars

I know all too well that suffering leaves its scars. Some are visible, while some lie hidden within the fabric of my being. Multiple scars on my ankle remind me that I can no longer physically do so much of what I used to love. Another scar will be left from the PICC line put in my arm to treat my chronic illness. But it’s the scars deep within — the ones that no one can see — that have threatened my hope and joy in the greatest way.

I’m a woman who carries scars from various forms of abuse, and who struggles not to view all relationships through untrusting eyes. I’m a mother who carries scars from unknowingly passing on my illness to each of my four children. And I’m a fallen human being who carries scars from my own sinful choices.

But for every child of God, sin, pain, and scars will not have the last word. By God’s grace, they can become blessed evidence of what Christ has redeemed, and will redeem, through the scars he received for us on the cross (Isaiah 53:5).

Life from Our Deepest Wounds

As we carry the scars of this world’s brokenness, while dressed in the hope of salvation through Jesus Christ, we will come to understand and believe these words of Paul more deeply:

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16–18)

Our suffering and scars are not only temporary. They are also preparing us for something greater. Something eternal. Something unimaginable.

But how do we not lose heart when pain rocks our foundation and strips away everything we had hoped for in this world? We do so by anchoring ourselves on the solid foundation of God’s faithfulness (rather than our own ability and understanding), trusting that he will bring new life out of even our deepest wounds. We must learn to look at our scars through the scars of Christ, and our temporary pain (despite how eternal it feels) through the promise of the eternal glory that God is preparing for us.

Walking Testimonies

The pain and the scars it has left may not disappear in our lifetime, but the growth and maturity that shines forth from Christ’s healing work in our lives will begin to magnify his worth and increase our anticipation for the eternal healing that is to come. We become walking testimonies of an unshakable hope — one that is greater than this world has to offer and greater than this world can take from us.

One day, scars will be no more, broken minds and bodies will be made whole, the internal battle against sin will be silenced, and our faith will finally become sight in the presence of our Savior.

When the pain in your life feels like too much to bear, and the scars you carry appear too great to heal, fight the enemy’s lies with the truth of Christ’s healing power — both now and to come. Fix your eyes on our faithful Savior, the One who loved you and me enough to receive his own scars in order to bring healing to ours. As John Piper writes in his poem on Job:

What we have lost God will restore,
When he is finished with his art,
The silent worship of our heart.
When God creates a humble hush,
And makes Leviathan his brush,
It won’t be long until the rod,
Becomes the tender kiss of God.

A Stronger Voice

The enemy taunts us in our pain, You will never be free. Think of all there is to fear. Wallow in your guilt and self-pity. Give way to the hopelessness that grips you. For I have stolen all that is good, beautiful, and worth fighting for.

But our Savior says, “Fear not, my child, for you are mine. I bought you with a price and will not let you go. Pain will come, but it will not win, for I have conquered sin and death. I will redeem your life, for those who take refuge in me will not be condemned. Though I have allowed this pain, it will not have the last word. I will carry you through it and show you the treasures I have stored up for you along the way. Do not lose heart — my grace is sufficient for you.

“The enemy is a liar, but I tell you the truth: I began a good work in you, and I will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6). My strength is greater than your pain, my steadfast love casts out all fear, and my hope is greater than your losses. Lift your eyes, weary child, and rest in my strong arms.”

In Christ,

Sarah Walton

This article first appeared at Sarah’s website and is posted here with her permission.

Related Posts

Pastoral Correction

Pastoral Correction

On today’s Warriors of Grace show, Dave continues the 2 Timothy series looking at 2 Timothy 2:22-26 and handling error, why character begets credibility, and the purpose of gentle correction. What you’ll hear in this episode How to handle error. Unbridled quarreling...

The Church Has One Testimony—and It’s Anything but Boring

The Church Has One Testimony—and It’s Anything but Boring

God’s Calling I have no memory of the moment of my own calling. Raised by godly parents in the nurture of the church, I didn’t pray a salvation prayer or walk an aisle or have a sudden revelation. I don’t actually remember a time when I didn’t love Christ. My...

The Grand Reversal

The Grand Reversal

Romans 11:30-32, “For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy show to you they also may now receive mercy. For God has consigned all to...

Facing the Hurt of Life with the Help of the Lord

Facing the Hurt of Life with the Help of the Lord

If you are like me, the last year and a half has been very challenging. As with everyone, my challenges may be similar to yours but are different. One of my mentors in ministry always tells me, “God hand-tailors the situations our lives.” And it’s true under God’s...

Finding Rest in Christ in Weariness

Finding Rest in Christ in Weariness

“All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it,” says the Preacher of Ecclesiastes (Ecc. 1:8). I can relate. Though perhaps, right now, it’s more that I myself am full of unutterable weariness. I can’t remember being more weary than I have been in this...

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Thank for words that are very timely for me.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share134
Tweet21
Reddit
Email
Buffer