Hope and pain are not meant to be separated. It is in the most painful, seemingly hopeless places that true hope is found. In America, we are so hopeless because we avoid pain. At all costs, we run away from the slightest chance of discomfort. We then find comfort in the hopelessness because we have sheltered ourselves from all suffering. And when suffering is thrust upon us, we blame god thinking that he couldn’t let this pain happen if he really loved us. That just sounds and smells like the serpent.
A girl on H squad made this comment when praying about worship and feeling other people’s burdens…God told me, ‘I love you like I love my Son, but look how I use my Son.’
Jesus was a man of sorrows. He ONLY did what he saw the Father doing and ONLY said what he heard him saying. Yet, he encountered insurmountable pain and suffering.
What if the hope that you are searching for isn’t found in ease or comfort? What if its not found in a husband? Or in success and money and ‘security’? But maybe it’s found in the pain. Maybe it flourishes in the real life and death circumstances.
Bill Johnson says this, “Our culture is designed to avoid pain. In the kingdom, instead of avoiding pain you move to it because you live with the need to be exposed to human need. I can’t afford to be insulated from pain, pain is where greatness is drawn from.”
And so I hear the stories of boys who have been abandoned and live on the streets in Honduras, and something stirs. I watch a movie about the reality of sex trafficking of CHILDREN in Cambodia, and I feel it again. This pang. This aching.
I have to be honest, there is a temptation to push those feelings away. Because they are not nice feelings. Sometimes I do ignore the pain; I just don’t know if I can bear it. But I’m realizing more and more that I can’t afford to be ignorant or indifferent.
The power of HOPE and greatness are birthed in pain. So I am asking The Lord to draw me to the pain and to give me the strength to see and feel the suffering of this world. I live in a kingdom that goes against the grain of this world, but its a strong current. And in that kingdom, the ones who mourn are comforted, the ones who hunger are satisfied, those who are meek (defined as tame obedience) will inherit the earth.
Come one, come all into the right side up, forward thinking Kingdom, leaving behind this backwards way of life. We were made to live this way. Press into the pain. Discover true life. Experience this unwavering hope.