Pain is not from the Lord; pain happens because we live in a sinful, fallen world. And if you’re in pain today, I’m sorry. My heart goes out to you for sure, and I know that the Lord’s heart is for you even more.
Nevertheless, the Bible teaches us that we should thank God for pain and praise Him even in the midst of pain.
It can be hard to thank God for pain if you’ve never done so before. However, after you read the three reasons to thank God for pain that I will show you today from the Bible, I believe you will see that the reward of doing this far outweighs the difficulty of thanking God for your pain.
In fact, when you see these three reasons to thank God for the pain you’re in, I believe that it won’t even be hard for you anymore to start thanking God. I pray and believe that an overflow of thanksgiving will just start bubbling out of your heart and spirit, such that you move instantly onto miracle territory by the sheer power of your obedience in giving thanks.
That said, let’s cut right to the chase. Here are three reasons to thank God for pain, no matter what you’re going through today:
1. Thank God for pain because the Bible says He will work it out for our good.
Romans 8:28 says:
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28 NKJV).
Pain is your opportunity to be promoted.
I know that’s not how the world looks at things; the world hates pain. And if we only see things with natural eyes, then we all tend to think that pain is the be-all and end-all of everything. We feel or see pain, and we suddenly think the world is crashing in on us and that life is over.
However, that’s not how God sees pain.
It’s not that God likes pain; He doesn’t. God doesn’t like pain any more than you do; He hates all the effects of sin, just like He hates sin itself. (Read more about that here in this prophetic word: Jesus Says: I Hate What They Did To You.)
But, God sees things from an eternal perspective. And He is a God of righteousness and justice; righteousness and justice are the foundations of His throne. Psalm 89:14 tells us:
“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; mercy and truth go before Your face” (Psalm 89:14 NKJV).
God is both righteous and just; He is merciful and true. And so when something hurts you, His beloved child, He steps in and makes it up to you by vindicating you and working it out for your good.
So pain is your opportunity to get promoted.
I know it can be difficult to look past our flesh and our immediate sorrows to see it that way. However, if we are going to develop a Kingdom perspective–if we are going to develop God’s perspective and learn to see with spiritual eyes–then we have to look past the immediate agony of our pain and be willing to accept that God is going to turn it around.
And He’ll do it every time:
- Every time the devil comes against you with an attack, God will work it out for your good.
- Every time someone hurts you, God will work it out for your good.
- Every time you get rejected or cast aside, yes that’s right: God will work it out for your good.
- And every time someone leaves you, God will work it out for your good.
These are only a few examples, but know this:
ALL THINGS work together for your good if you love God and are called according to His purpose. Whether you love Him or not, I do not know; but I do know that you are called; the Bible says so.
So you ask yourself today: Do you love God? Because you are called. So if you do love Him, then you meet the requirements for promotion–and the pain you’re going through is going to work out for your good.
In fact, it’s going to work out so much for your good that you will look back at some point in the future and say, “I’m so glad that happened. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
2. Thank God for pain because it allows us to know Christ better.
Philippians 3:7-11 says this:
“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him,
not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;
that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:7-11 NKJV).
And Colossians 1:24 says:
“I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church” (Colossians 1:24 NKJV).
In relationships, there is a level of “knowing somebody” that you can only reach when you share their pain.
You can celebrate with someone all day long, and that’s great. It will build your relationship. But you cannot truly know someone until you understand their pain; until you have fought the good fight alongside them; until you know from firsthand experience some part of what they’ve been through.
Pain is a great equalizer.
And although we will never be Christ, we are hidden in Him and alive in Him only. It is from that privileged position that we are able to get to know Him.
Think of the wonder of it: You get to KNOW God Himself. That means:
- You get to know His heart.
- You get to learn what He loves and what He hates.
- You get to laugh with Him, cry with Him, and know what makes Him happy.
- You get to share His joy …
- and His sorrow.
And the fact is that, if you want to truly know Christ, then you must know every part of Him … including His sufferings.
It’s just relational truth. You can’t really know someone if you only know their joys. You must also share their burdens and their pains in order to really, truly, and deeply know their heart.
So, if you’re in pain today, remember the cry of Paul–which is actually the cry of God the Holy Spirit written down through Paul:
“… that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”
Make this your cry too if you’re in pain today. “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings!” And pray:
- Tell the Lord that you’re willing to go through anything if that’s what it takes to know Him more.
- Ask Him to help you learn His heart through whatever pain is happening in your life.
- Ask Him to help you know Him at a deeper level than you have ever known Him before.
He will hear and answer.
3. Thank God for pain because the Bible says to count it all joy.
There are some things we do out of sheer obedience to God, even if we don’t understand it in the moment. One of those things we must do out of sheer obedience to God is to thank God for pain.
James 1:2-4 tells us:
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4).
And 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says this:
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV).
Friend, all I can tell you is what I do. And when I’m in pain, I start thanking God for it. I give crazy thanks, like this:
- “Father God, thank You that my best friend abandoned me. Thank You, Lord. Thank You!”
- “Thank You for this headache. Thank You for this sickness. I’m counting it all joy, Lord. Thank You that You’re going to work it out for my good, and thank You for healing me.”
- “Thank You that I didn’t get chosen for ____. Thank You for this opportunity to stay home and rest instead.”
- “Thank You that that person rejected me. Thank You for protecting me from something that would have hurt me, distracted me, sidelined me, or worn me out.”
I mean I give crazy thanks. I praise God like crazy. And I’ve had plenty of opportunity to do so, friend; I’ve lived through a lot of pain in my life, unfortunately. But you know what I’ve learned through it all? Just this:
Not only is thanking God for pain an act of obedience to God, but it also destroys the work of the devil in your life.
When you give thanks for anything, you move onto miracle territory. And when you thank God like crazy for your pain, counting it all joy as the Bible instructs us to do, you open a supernatural, heavenly portal of blessing over yourself. And God just dumps His blessings and showers His goodness on you.
- Right in the midst of sickness.
- Right in the midst of enemy attack.
- Right in the middle of abandonment, betrayal, rejection, exclusion, lack, depression, and discouragement.
When we count it all joy, our sheer obedience moves us onto miracle territory and God shows up and shows out.
If you’re not sure how to get started counting it all joy, read my written Prayer to Count It All Joy here. It will help you.
Taking the step and deciding to thank God for pain is a sign of major spiritual maturity.
And the cool thing is that you don’t have to be majorly spiritually mature to make this decision. But as soon as you make this decision to thank God for pain, and you start thanking Him, you will instantly go to another level in Christ:
- Another level of surrender to Him;
- Another level of obeying Him;
- Another level of intimacy with Him …
… And another level of blessing.
Yes, my friend: Obeying God is not without reward.
The Bible says in Hebrews 11:6 that we have to believe God for reward–and that we cannot please God unless we do. This passage says:
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
So when you obey God by thanking Him for pain …
When you praise Him for whatever you’re going through, even if what you’re going through is not good …
He will reward you. And His rewards are worth the sacrifice of obedience, every time.
So will you do it? Will you thank God for pain today?
Will you give Him a crazy praise and a radical thank offering, thanking Him specifically for whatever you’re going through that hurts? Will you thank Him for the opportunity to know Christ at a whole new level? Will you thank Him and praise Him for the pain you’re in, knowing that this pain is your opportunity for promotion?
Leave a comment below if you will!