Have you ever wondered why God allows us to go through such pain? Isn’t He a loving God? There are certainly many reasons for pain that we will never know, but John Baker, founder of Celebrate Recovery and author of ‘Life’s Healing Choices’, provides four truths to help us understand.

1. God gave us free will. God gave each of us the right to choose. He created us in His image, and since God made many choices at the beginning of Creation, we also were made with the ability to choose. We can choose good things or bad things. We can choose to live for God or choose to live for ourselves. Every choice we make has a consequence. It’s important to remember that if God gives us the right to choose, He also gives that right to others. So when others choose to do wrong it affects the people around them. Often we reap the pain of others’ bad choices. God could have stopped it but, if he took away their right to choose, He would also have to take away ours.

2. Pain gets our attention. Our pain is not the problem. Anxiety, fear and depression are not the problem. They are simply red flags telling us something is wrong. Much like the internal pain of a heart attack captures our attention, without it, we may never know something is wrong.

3. Pain teaches us to depend on God. When our lives fall apart, and we have no one to help us, no resource to lean on, no strength left to fight, that’s when we can see God is our only hope. John Baker says it this way, “You will never know that God is all you need until God is all you’ve got.” Without pain and problems, we would never learn to lean on God.

4. Pain is used by God to give us a ministry to others. Once we experience pain, we are more sympathetic and sensitive to those around us who are going through pain. We are also more humble after having gone through our pain. Pain prepares us to learn to trust God through the pain and in turn, He comforts and helps us. II Corinthians 1:3-4, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

Use your pain to help others by sharing your experiences. Let people know how God helped you so they can find hope and comfort. The more we share about our pain and the help God has given us, the less power our pain has over us. God does not waste a hurt. He wants to recycle the pain in your life to help others.

(Taken and adapted from ‘Life’s Healing Choices,’ by John Baker; 2007)

By Karen Grotler