Who wants Pain?
Pain produces a promise. Can pain really produce a promise? The other day my six-year-old son was very upset that he wasn’t able to get a flu shot because he was too young. He would have to receive the flu vaccination in a mist form. The little guy was so upset that he cried and pouted.Imagine that, getting upset because he couldn’t receive something that would inevitably produce some kind of pain! Most kids cry when they receive a shot certainly not when they don’t receive one! In life, we would not get upset if we could avoid pain, in fact, we would welcome the opportunity of an alternative.
Life is not Pain-Free
I do understand that in some contexts pain would be beneficial to getting better; like practicing at a certain sport. I am not addressing that kind of pain today. I am talking about pain that we don’t welcome, pain that affects us in a negative way, problems that overwhelm us. We live in a world that is not pain-free, every day we face obstacles that could eventually hurt us. There are no easy roads and certainly no shortcuts, we will have to push through life and deal with every blow; good or bad. If we’ll hang on and trust Jesus our pain will produce a promise!
In Genesis 16 we read of Sarah’s plan to give Abraham a child. Sarah asks Abraham to have a child with Hagar her handmaid so that he would have offspring. Abraham agrees and Ishmael is born. Immediately Sarah realizes her error and devises another plan to get rid of Hagar. She basically gets permission from her husband to do whatever she wants to Hagar. The bible says, “And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.” Genesis 16:6 This term, “dealt hardly” means to look down upon, to browbeat, or to depress literally or figuratively. Sarah made it a point to mistreat Hagar to the extent she felt she had to get away from the abuse.
God does have a Plan!
Pain is something none of us likes to deal with, however, it’s something we all have to deal with. Although we cannot see the reason for our pain ultimately God has a plan to help us deal with it. Harry Emerson Fosdick said,
“He who knows no hardships will know no hardihood. He who faces no calamity will need no courage. Mysterious though it is, the characteristics in human nature which we love best grow in a soil with a strong mixture of troubles.” BrainyQuote.com
God’s Solution for our Pain
In our pain we sometimes shrink to a place of loneliness and self-pity and run from our troubles. We cannot run from our pain and expect a promise! Notice the direction God sends Hagar when He found her in her despair…”Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.” Genesis 16:9 Why would God send her back to the place where she is despised and rejected? He sends her back, yes, but she is not returning empty-handed God sends her back with a promise! Genesis 16:10 In her pain a promise was produced! God knows how to take our pain and turn it into a promise!
Going back to the place where we were hurt is not always easy but we can do it with the help of the Lord.
- Naomi had to go back to Israel. Ruth 1:19-22
- Paul the apostle went back to Lystra. Acts 14:19-22
- Onesimus had to return to Philemon. Philemon 1:11-12
- In his mind, I’m certain Peter went back to that place of denial.
You too will have to return to that family member or friend that hurt you. Go back to that church that hurt you and said false things about you. Return to that brother or sister who maligned you and treated you with disdain! Let the enemy know that although you don’t know how things will work out, God will produce a promise from this pain! Romans 8:28
Pain Produces a Promise!
Life can be a series of circles, setbacks, failures, and pains but eventually, God will unfold his plan. He will reveal and release His divine promise, God will prove Himself faithful! Hang on Hagar the promise is coming! Your pain will produce a promise! “…And the angel of God called Hagar out of heaven..” Genesis 21:17 B.H. Streeter said,
“There is a kind and quality of pain that is creative, curative, redemptive, and…this is a kind of pain which man is privileged to share with God.” WorldInvisible.com
We have to figure out a way to deal with our pain and Christ is the answer. Jesus Christ showed us how to take the pain and produce a promise! His pain brought salvation to a lost and dying world! The anguish he endured allowed us to receive pardon and grace! He understood his purpose from a very young age and knew it would eventually cause him pain. Christ did it anyway for you and for me! He is a faithful high priest who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. Hebrews 4:15 He was tempted in all points like as we are and yet did not sin. Hebrews 2:18 He ever liveth to make intercession for us! Hebrews 7:25 What a Savior, what a King! His pain produced a promise! Matthew 20:28