Daily Encouragement: Day 237

From Handbook to Wisdom, Day 237

THE HIDDEN BLESSING OF PAIN

The God of all grace, who called me
to His eternal glory in Christ,
after I have suffered a little while,
will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen,
and establish me.
(1 Peter 5:10)

I will trust in the Lord with all my heart
and lean not on my own understanding;
in all my ways I will acknowledge Him,
and He will make my paths straight.
I will not be wise in my own eyes,
but I will fear the Lord and depart from evil.
(Proverbs 3:5–7)

In The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis argues that God allows pain in our lives not because He loves us less, but because He loves us more than we would wish:

“Over a sketch made idly to amuse a child, an artist may not take much trouble: he may be content to let it go even though it is not exactly as he meant it to be. But over the great picture of his life—the work which he loves, though in a different fashion, as intensely as a man loves a woman or a mother a child—he will take endless trouble—and would, doubtless, thereby give endless trouble to the picture if it were sentient. One can imagine a sentient picture, after being rubbed and scraped and recommenced for the tenth time, wishing that it were only a thumb-nail sketch whose making was over in a minute.”

As we renew our minds with a growing biblical perspective on the experiences and circumstances of life, we come to see that this life is a time of sowing the seeds of eternity rather than multiplying ephemeral treasures on earth. Such a perspective reduces our anxieties (Matthew 6:25–34), increases our contentment (Philippians 4:11–13; 1 Timothy 6:6–8), and strengthens our trust and hope (Hebrews 6:13–20).