Purpose for the Pain

What you’re going through is horrible. Nothing compares with physical illness, disease, or disability. The handicaps wear down your emotional well-being. Hope becomes exhausting. With all my being, I wish I could simply be with you now. To sit next to you and keep you company. I desire to clean and wait on you while keeping a smile on my face. I want to cry with you, and hold your hand. But right now, all I have are these words and the power of the Holy Spirit.

King Jesus, thank You for Your gift of the Holy Spirit that remains with us and abides in all who call upon Your name. I pray over my friend. Please give her clarity through the pain as she reads this message you’ve given me to pass on to her. Let her feel your abiding presence with her now so she knows she’s not alone. Amen.

Dear friend, it’s normal to be mad at the illness and at God for not intervening. You can hate the disease and Satan for afflicting you with it. I could attempt to give you a sound theological reason as to why you’re suffering right now, but truth is, that’s probably not what you need to hear. But I will tell you that you’re not suffering because God’s trying to punish you. Nor does He hate you. In fact, this is why Jesus came to this earth and rose from the dead. So that we can have hope in our pain and suffering.

No matter what, please understand that you are not too broken or dirty for Christ. With every breath you can, pursue Jesus. In Luke Chapter 8, verses 40-48, we meet a woman who did just that. This woman was suffering from a physical ailment of bleeding for twelve years. According to Leviticus 15, this would have made her unclean. If someone touched an article of clothing she bloodied, she would’ve made them unclean as well. 

She didn’t care. She desperately needed Jesus, and pushed through a throng of people, hoping to just brush her fingers on the hem of his robe to be healed. She wasn’t looking for a friend. She didn’t want to be a burden to Jesus who was already on his way to heal another. Perhaps she felt unworthy in her uncleanness to speak with a rabbi. All she wanted was to be healed so that she could start living a normal life. 

And she did it. She touched his clothes and was immediately healed. 

Jesus could have simply continued on. He knew who touched Him, even among the crowd. He wasn’t weakened or diminished in any way by what this woman did. Yet He stopped. He saw her there in her suffering. He knew this woman desperately needed something more than just physical healing. She needed to know that she still mattered. 

Who was it that touched me?” Jesus asked, scanning the crowd. (v. 45)

The crowds put their hands up and step back. Who would dare touch this holy man? 

Peter tried to get Jesus to move on, but Jesus refused. Amidst all the business, He wanted to speak with that simple woman. 

After the pause of a held breath, the woman steps forward, ready to face her punishment. She fell to the ground afraid that she had troubled Jesus whom they say is the Messiah. Will He smite her? Scold her as He had done to the Pharisees? 

“Daughter,” Jesus caressed her cheek to pull her gaze to Him. “Your faith has made you well; go in peace.” (vs. 48)

I cannot tell you how the Holy Spirit will work in your life. It could be that He miraculously, instantaneously heals you. That would be a testimony worth sharing. But even at that, death will still inevitably come. It also might be that God won’t heal you right now. But even in that, there will be healing. 1 Corinthians 15:53-55, 57 promises us this:

 “For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

‘Death is swallowed up in victory.

‘O death, where is your victory? 

‘O death, where is your sting?’… 

Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The same Jesus who stopped amidst the crowd to notice one single woman with faith has noticed you too. The Holy Spirit is there with you to help you through the nausea and pain. He is there to comfort you. Please, friend, do not give up hope. As the disease assails you, let it remind you of Jesus’ words and the hope you have over death. Take hold of the peace of the Holy Spirit. Let Him wrap you in the warmth of His love.

“Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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