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Having a Heavenly Mindset in the Midst Your Hurt

The Apostle Paul’s life surely wasn’t a walk in the park (see 2 Corinthians 11:24–28). He gives us a glimpse of how he got through some incredibly tough times in 2 Corinthians 4:8–10:

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

Paul says God brings life out of our toughest hurts. It is why he would later write in Romans 8:28, “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.” What’s he saying? Through his personal lens of what he went through in his life, Paul is saying, “Hey look, if your perplexed or in despair. If you are persecuted and feeling struck down, God is going to bring life out of it and He’s going to turn it around for good. Someway, somehow, God is reassembling the shattered pieces and He will bring life to your pain.”

I know from personal experience that in the midst of pain this can seem really off-base to you. The whole idea of “good” in the midst of gut-wrenching pain can seem unreachable and unreal. If you are in this place, you may not even care. If you are in this place more than likely you don’t have any great prayers to pray and you’re not filled with excitement for God. Believe me, I get that. Sarah and I, in the last twenty-seven months have been there. Sometimes all we can say is, “O God, PLEASE.”

Here’s what you need to know and stand on—He understands it. He responds to our faith, even the simple, “O God, please!” and He begins to turn it around. He begins to turn it into good. He begins to heal your hurt and your wounds so you can walk through it. “Even through I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” When we’re hurting and in pain, we need to let God heal us and we need to walk believing and trusting.

When God comes through and begins to heal our pain, it’s just a foreshadowing and a foretaste of His ultimate goodness that we’ll all experience in Heaven. Pastor Jonathan Edmondson said in the mid-1800s, ” “We are in danger of viewing our afflictions in this life as a burden too heavy to be borne; but in reality, ‘the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.’”[i]

Because Paul knew that God brings life to our toughest hurts, he could write in 2 Corinthians 4:16, ” Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.” In spite of what he went through, Paul didn’t lose heart. He didn’t give up. He didn’t walk away from God and live a hopeless life with only an earthly perspective. Paul’s heart was in Heaven so his hand could be in the harvest. The hurt and pain didn’t keep him from loving and serving. He trusted and believed God was working out all things.

Are you being renewed day by day? Are you encountering Jesus day by day? Are you surrendering your pain to Him so you can live in hope of Heaven? It’s the only way we an make it through the hurt. Are you trusting Him to bring good to your life?

[i] Jonathan Edmondson, Scripture Views of the Heavenly World, (New York: G. Lane & C. B. Tippett for the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1846), E-book edition

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