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I’ve been on a health kick lately.  If you know me, I tend to be an “all or nothing” type of gal, so I’m moving away from eating anything and everything (in moderation, of course), to eating Mediterranean, gluten free, lactose free, sugar free. My friends say I’m crazy.  This new health kick lasts maybe one day, then I fall off the wagon.  I guess the pain from changing old habits is too great. When my Sunday School teacher began his lesson on pain last week, my eyes opened wide and my ears shot up.

Don’t get me wrong.  I always have good intentions when I walk through the door of the church to be attentive, to study, and sit there like a sponge absorbing God’s Word.  However, I get easily distracted, falling prey to checking my phone, looking at the people around me, making my “list” of things I must do.  You name the distraction and I’ve probably succumbed to it.

To quote my Sunday School teacher, here are five reasons God purposely allows pain in our lives:

  1. Personally, to develop faith (James 1:2-4)
  2. Theologically, to expose wrong (1 Cor 3:13-15)
  3.  Vertically, to teach obedience (Hebrews 5:8)
  4.  Horizontally, to cultivate humility (2 Corinthians 12:7)
  5. Ultimately, to glorify God (1 Peter 4:16)

After reading these scriptures, it is clear to me that God wants to refine us for relationships with Him, in this world, and perfect us for worship.  Thank you, Lord, for your grace and mercy with all my imperfections.

C.S. Lewis said, “We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

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