Daily Encouragement: Year 2, Day 215

From Handbook to God’s Promises


Processing Our Pain
(Hosea 6:1-4)

One of the universal languages in this world is pain. We all know about it, we all experience it, and we all look for ways to manage it.

Our desire to control pain is normal. But it can lead to trouble when the source of the pain is beyond our control. We often find ourselves willing to do whatever it takes to bring the pain to an end. Like the weakling third-grader who pays off the playground bully every day with his lunch, we are tempted to do whatever the “source” of the pain demands. Like the Israelites in this passage, we may be tempted to try to manipulate God—saying what we think He wants to hear—in order to bring an end to our suffering.

The nation of Israel tried this unsuccessfully. God had brought His hand of discipline to bear on the people, and they were hurting. Their pain had its origins in their own sin and their failure to repent in spite of numerous warnings from God’s prophets. When God carried out His discipline, Israel had a “foxhole conversion,” saying, in effect: “God, get us out of this situation, and we’ll serve You from now on.” The Israelites actually thought that two days of repentance—at the most three—would convince God to graciously restore the nation to wholeness. But God saw right through their scheme: “Your loyalty is like a morning cloud, and like the dew which goes away early” (Hos. 6:4). Needless to say, they were not restored in three days with that approach.

Our focus in times of suffering should not be on our pain, but on our Father in heaven. We should strive to determine His purposes, His plans, and His priorities rather than trying to plan our escape route. Don’t think naturally when you’re in pain—“How do I escape?” Think supernaturally—“How can I hear what God is saying through this experience?”

God’s Promise:
There is a blessing in everything He allows in your life.