Are you suffering unjust pain in your body, mind, or emotions? Are you having to endure some kind of physiological suffering? Has your world grown small because of how debilitating the pain has become?
It can be very discouraging to experience the loss of unfulfilled dreams, and even dreams that had come true and that you were living in, but have had that dream disappear.
For those of us who live in chronic pain from some kind of hyper-sensitive physiology (body, mind, or emotions), our Primary Purpose has been clearly defined for us.
“For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God… if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.
To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. ‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth.’”
~ 1 Peter 2:19-22
“Unjust suffering” isn’t just that which is caused by evil people in response to our living for Christ. “Unjust suffering” includes that which we face in life that is not a consequence of our own actions. It afflicts our body, mind, and/or emotions, things like chronic illnesses, diseases, paralysis, depressions (chemical or circumstantial), mental health disorders, bi-polar emotions, etc.
Personally, I have been “unjustly suffering” for over 15 years with a very debilitating case of Fibromyalgia with Chronic Fatigue, and a few other less afflicting things. I too experienced the loss of dreams, including the necessity to resign from a pastorate of a church that had really wonderful people in it. For the last decade my world, from the vantage point of my bed 18-24 hours per day, has become very small.
At first I really mourned and grieved quite hard at my sense of losses. However, I discovered that–for now–my primary purpose in life was for me to be transformed into the example that Jesus gave to us when He suffered. My life (my body, my brain, and my emotions) took on a whole new meaning: to thrive and to become “commendable before God” as I suffered.
Job is another wonderful example of a person who suffered greatly in every area of his life, yet his integrity thrived and he was commendable to God. He suffered the loss of all his grown children, all of his wealth, and all of his health. He was just healthy enough to stay alive, but sick enough to suffer immensely in his whole person, in his body, mind, and emotions.
If you are suffering, if you are debilitated, if you are in constant chronic physiological pain because of the hyper-firing of your nervous system, be of good cheer! (When I say “be of good cheer,” please remember that I am a fellow sufferer in pain and raw emotions). Even while stuck in your bed or in your wheel chair, your primary purpose has been clearly defined: thrive and be commendable to God in every motive that is behind everything you think and say, and that your countenance radiates.
We can do this! We can be this! Let’s thrive in spite of the pain.
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