With my parents having gone through the German occupation in Jersey (Channel Islands) during World War 2, I was brought up with the understanding that we must always appreciate all that we have and not waste anything. Thus, I have lived my life with the notion that it is not good to waste time, money or energy!
It is quite difficult living to this standard when one sees so much waste going on around us. When communing with the Lord about this one day, I felt Him impress on me that there are far more valuable things that we could waste!
God doesn’t waste pain
There are eternal blessings that God longs to give us, that far outweighs the benefits of time, money and energy – yet most of us hardly ever tap into these! Over the many years of exploring the ways of God, I have concluded that God is far more interested in our eternity than our now.
Romans 8:28 (NIV): “And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose”.
Sometimes it is necessary to have short term pain for long-term, eternal gain! For example, choosing to be kind and gentle, and to forgive and act with grace, when our flesh is crying out for retribution.
When I have chosen to respond His way, I have discovered that God never wastes pain! When you are battling with a painful situation (regardless of the cause), remember that in God’s Kingdom, pain is never wasted.
He is always at work behind the scenes, finding a way to work all things together for your good. God never short-changes us and can use anything for His glory and our growth.
The choice not to waste His pain
When Christ died that painful death on the Cross, he purchased our victory – eternal life – through that magnificent sacrifice. Not only are our lives written in the Lamb’s book of life, but we get to share in the inheritance of Christ, living as a child of the King whilst on the earth.
We can take great comfort in realising that what the devil thought was his greatest victory, turned out to be his greatest defeat. God can do exactly that in your life too!
In the story of Joseph, in Genesis 50:20 (NIV) Joseph says: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
Throughout the Bible we read stories of people experiencing trial upon trial, and pain upon pain. A good example of this is Joseph. People actively plotted against him (his brothers throwing him in a pit) or carelessly forgot about him (his fellow prisoners), yet still he chose to trust and honor God.
Throughout Joseph’s many painful trials, God was skillfully at work, weaving His plans and purposes for good, not only for his life (making him 2nd in charge of Egypt), but also for all of Israel, bringing them deliverance through the famine.
Your gift of choice!
Will you choose to trust God and obey His word, regardless of the cost?
God’s ways are most often not easy, because they are contrary to the world’s standards.
However, it is a tragic waste if we don’t actively choose to do things His way (thereby unintentionally wasting His pain), because we then miss out on His ability to bring good into any and every situation.
When I experience various forms of pain, I can either rely on self (the flesh) to deal with the problem, or I can choose to give it to God, seeking out truths from His word relating to that particular situation. Then, actively applying my faith to that word, I can pray it back to the Father in full assurance that He is at work behind the scenes, just as He has promised.
Throughout the Bible, there are stories reminding us that even when it seems all hope is lost, God can still turn it around! Sometimes, there is a quick turnaround to encourage us, but often this requires patient endurance, and deep surrender, drawing us into deeper intimacy and dependence on Him – which is eternal gain!
Thank you, Jesus, for the pain you endured, so that we could have abundant, eternal life.
Help us choose to focus on the plumb-line of your word, guiding and directing the choices, to bring all that we say, think, feel and do, into submission to you.