Read Romans 8:18
I once heard a story of a reclusive woodsman who lived in the mountains of West Virginia. When you choose to live in wilderness like that, you have to learn to coexist and protect yourself from the wildlife. In the New River area, black bears are commonplace. The story that I heard was of a man who had to deal with a bear who had become quite comfortable in and around his house. The man set a trap for the bear… the trap works by metal jaws seizing on the bear’s leg. When the bear was caught, he became enraged. Before approaching the bear, the man tranquilized it. A department of wildlife crew came out to move the bear several counties away. It was a coordinated effort to protect the man’s home, but also to respect the bear’s autonomy, and to provide a safe place for the bear to thrive. In an obvious way, the bear trap was used to HELP the bear. Is there any chance the bear saw it that way? The pain the bear felt in the trap was very real, but temporary, and the bear had no idea why it was happening. Ultimately, some good came out of that for the bear.
Are we so different when dealing with present day pain?
Paul tells us in Romans that we are to keep eternity in mind when dealing with present-day pain. Paul uses the word ‘sufferings’ to describe this thought. Similarly, in 2 Cor. 4:17 Paul describes our trials as ‘light momentary affliction’. It’s almost as if he is incredulous that we could be so worried about our present-day struggles when God’s eternal promises of coming glory are so profound. This is such a difficult concept to wrap our heads around; do you understand and believe this?
Pain is all around us. Physical pain through cancer, accidents, or negligence. Emotional pain through hurt, loss, or grief. Psychological pain through manipulation, mental illness, or human rights abuses. Murder, adultery, human trafficking, childless parents. Physical abuse, emotional abuse, domestic abuse. Sometimes it’s just as simple as a mean person we have to deal with daily. None of it is trivial, and all of it hurts.
Consider God’s promises, though! Eternal glory is promised to us. Our forever is secure. He promises us a new heaven and earth. A new, better and resurrected body with no pain, no tears, no weeping! He promises a future living peacefully with King Jesus. And God’s promises aren’t just for eternity either; He promises that EVEN NOW, all things work together for the good of those who call Jesus their Savior. Even in our pain, God is promising to make something new out of it – for our good and His glory. We just have to look.
Remember God’s promises, and keep the end goal of eternity in mind. It’s the HOPE that comes from Jesus!