My heart is heavy from all of the tragic drug use. People are in so much pain and need of relief that they are turning to addictive drugs that unfortunately lead to even more suffering and death. Where can they find true relief and healing from pain? Only in God.
Let me start by saying that I have experienced chronic pain myself, and it is one of the most difficult and frustrating burdens. For years I have prayed for healing, and the prayer has not been answered yet.
While I have not been completely healed and continue to have hope that I will be, I have been blessed to find some relief and peace of mind through answers the Lord has given me. If you are enduring pain of any kind, consider these questions.
Does God want you to change your lifestyle?
Often, our pain, whether physical or emotional, can result or be exacerbated from an unhealthy lifestyle. The foods we choose, lack of exercise and adequate rest, and poor stress management can contribute to greater pain.
My pain led me on a multi-year journey of learning how much these elements impact my health. I have found that by changing my diet, committing to an exercise routine, and making time for adequate rest, I am able to reduce my pain (not eliminate it), and lead a more productive, happier life.
Our body is a temple, and the Lord wants us to nourish it so that we are better able to glorify him.
“Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
Do you need to rely more on God?
Pain drew me closer to God. I would not have the relationship with God that I have today if it were not for pain. I need to rely on him to get through the day and hope in his healing power. Truly, only he can heal us.
Often, when I’m in a period of greater pain, if I take time to go deeper into prayer and rest in God, I find relief and peace. Recently, I had a period of intense pain. No amount of medication would resolve the problem, but prayer and rest did.
Do you need to give this burden to God and lay it at the altar?
“He Himself took our infirmities, and bore our diseases.” Matthew 8:17
Do you need to find strength in embracing the cross?
Pain is a cross, and though it’s a difficult one, is it the cross that God is having you carry? Do you need to accept and be at peace with it? Can you unite your pain with Christ’s suffering and find solace? What purposes is God trying to achieve through your pain?
Even Paul had a mysterious affliction – a thorn in his flesh that was a real source of pain for him. The purpose of that thorn, Paul learned, was to keep him humble and build his character. God never removed the thorn from Paul, despite Paul asking him to multiple times. Instead, Paul was given grace and strength, and he learned that God’s power is made perfect in weakness.
We too can find strength and grace in our afflictions.
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me. That is why, for the sake of Christ, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9
If you are struggling with pain of any kind, recognize that there is hope, relief, and purpose to what you are experiencing in God – and that addictive, harmful drugs or other means of pain relief will fall short. Begin with prayer and you will find answers and strength in Him.