Poet Amiri Baraka said of modern culture, “God has been replaced with air conditioning.”
We seek comfort above all else. Many of us have been duped into thinking God’s primary interest in our lives is our comfort rather than our character. We think he never wants us to suffer or feel pain.
That doesn’t square with the first words of Jesus’ only recorded sermon, found in Matthew 5. Jesus promised that his closest followers would enjoy the following: mourning (5:4), hunger (5:6), persecution (5:10), and criticism (5:11).
Why does God allow pain? While space doesn’t allow for a thorough answer to that question here, let me quote from Greg Bufkin’s article, Why Does God Allow Pain? Bufkin concludes, “Our pain ALWAYS has a purpose.”
Perhaps you are suffering because of the bad choices you have made. Perhaps there are other reasons. Whatever the reason for your pain, don’t miss God’s purpose. As you may recall from the beatitudes, Jesus said the same thing about each group – those who would mourn, hunger, and face persecution and criticism. Jesus said they would all be blessed.
Recovery Step: God is allowing what he does not like (pain) in order to fulfill what he really loves (purpose). Trust him. He knows what he’s doing.