He was hated and rejected;
his life was filled with sorrow and terrible suffering.
No one wanted to look at him.
We despised him and said, “He is a nobody!”

4 He suffered and endured great pain for us,
but we thought his suffering was punishment from God.
5 He was wounded and crushed because of our sins;
by taking our punishment, he made us completely well.     Isaiah 53:3-5 (CEV)

Jesus walked on a little way before he knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you will, please don’t make me suffer by having me drink from this cup.[a] But do what you want, and not what I want.”

43 Then an angel from heaven came to help him.44 Jesus was in great pain and prayed so sincerely that his sweat fell to the ground like drops of blood.    Luke 22:41-44 (CEV)

Last night, I was in a great deal of pain, enough to make me weep. There are many people who are in pain, whether from arthritis, cancer, fibromyalgia, or other debilitating diseases. There are others who are in emotional pain that is just as debilitating. I want to share what I believe Jesus has been speaking into my life about pain.

Why. “Why must I be in pain?” Ask Jesus. He will answer you. I believe His answer is very personal and specific to each of us. For me to presume to give you such an explanation is treading into your relationship with Him where I do not belong. Paul asked God about his chronic suffering (2 Corinthians 12) and shared God’s answer to him but Paul did not assume that God deals with all of us in the same way.

Never alone. What a revelation and comfort it has been to me to know that Jesus is with me when I am in pain, even in the darkness of night. When I am lying there trying to deep breath, rubbing my shoulder or hip, trying to relax, praying that rest will come, there is a warmth that covers me when I recall God’s promises that He will not leave me or abandon me. When I reach out to grasp a hand, Jesus’ is right there. I can pour out whatever is in my heart and He will sift the truth from the deceptions.

Use wisdom. God provides me with many ways to live a joyful, productive life in His Kingdom in spite of pain. He is a physician that provides relaxation techniques, exercises, and yes, medication that will help me. Asking God for His wisdom in how to live and asking Him to have mercy and heal me is all part of our relationship. The passage from Luke 22 has been Scripture that I have clung to during many painful periods. Jesus asked the Father to take painful plan from Him. While submitting to whatever the Father might answer, He was in such agony of prayer that His sweat was bloody. Though the Father did not remove this agony, He sent an angel to Jesus to minister, comfort and strengthen, Him. God’s “treatment” of my pain will always be characterized with wisdom and compassion.

Protect your faith. Chronic pain, pain that is frequent, even daily, drains strength and even faith. Chronic pain is another reason it is so important to give my daily time with God a top priority in my day. Reading and absorbing Scripture, talking to Jesus throughout my day refills my “faith bank.” Asking for prayer from others; receiving prayer from others keeps me humble and open to receiving the healing blessings of God.

The Enemy wants to keep me isolated, beaten down and silently suffering. Father God wants me to be connected to Jesus’ Body, lifted up and speaking to Him and hearing Him. Let us extend our hands and join together with our LORD – right now.

I Need You More written and sung by Lindell Cooley


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