For most, pain is considered awful.  We typically avoid it, delay it, and stuff it…until we finally have to face it.  When we do address it, we understandably go the quickest route to fix it.  Unfortunately, some situations do not resolve themselves quickly and it becomes a marathon more than a sprint.  In those situations, it will take tenacity and maturity on our part, to persist while having to deal with the pain, so that we can reach our ultimate goals.

The apostle Paul describes this valuable lesson in 2 Corinthians 12.  When he was stuck in a horrible situation, he prayed to God three times for it to be taken away from him but he got an answer that he was not expecting: God works through weakness.  What a profound discovery-that God wants to be with us in the middle of our pain and struggles because it is then that He exercises His strength in us.  In our weakness, He becomes strong… We can seek God’s redemption in the middle of pain… To take delight in suffering for Christ’s sake is an opportunity for God to give us strength when we hand over full control to God and allow Him to lead us.

Redemption is God bringing good out of the bad (Romans 8:28) and His leading us to wholeness (James 1:2-4).  Just as a soldier prepares for battle, the training is intentionally rigorous to strengthen him/her.  Going through difficulty with the Lord guiding us will strengthen and mature us spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.  This is why the people that you meet who happen to be calm in the midst of difficulty are able to manage so well.  They have been through similar challenges and survived them with grace so now their capacity to tolerate it is much higher than someone who had not.  Weakness is transformed into strength as we honestly address our pain and allow God to lead us.  It takes time and endurance, but it’s worth it.