Fresh Hope – 23rd April 2019

We struggle to process pain. We are taught to avoid it. Cover it up with medication. Drink it deep down. Distract it away. Eat it away…but it’s for a moment. We feel it’s easier to bury the pain, than to face it head on, getting to the root, working through it, and finding deep joy and freedom on the other side.

Likewise, when we see others in pain, we can get awkward and perhaps struggle to get involved. It is easier to just say to a struggler, ‘cheer up!’, rather than get down with their mess.

The problem with this approach to pain is that it can cause people to feel like they have to have a happy face on all the time! This can lead to automatic small talk similar to this:

“How are you?”

“Yeah, good thanks”. (Holding back on both truth and vulnerability).

God is always desiring for us to walk in greater freedom. His heart is to see us whole in soul (mind and emotions). Christians should not be a walking wounded people!

Jesus was certainly not intimidated by pain. Rather than commanding a fleet of angels to take him off the cross, he instead ‘focused on the joy… he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation’ (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus knew that on the other side of the pain process was victory and new life! But the pain process was a necessary journey. Jesus wasn’t afraid to get involved with our mess, to the point of death even!

Pain is NOT a sign that you don’t trust God. It is a normal part of life. Jesus in fact said, ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted’ (Matthew 5:4). Mourning is part of the process to finding wholeness. Therefore acknowledging and not hiding pain is the path to freedom.

Be vulnerable with the right kind of people on how you are REALLY going. Don’t push away what God wants you to face head on. Remember freedom is on the other side! Accept that a season of mourning is healthy. And if you feel healthy, be willing to help others through their pain and mess without being afraid of it.

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.