The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:18
People try their best to avoid pain in life because pain is not pleasant. It is also not avoidable. If you have lived for any amount of time beyond the first few years of your life, you have most definitely experienced pain in some form. Be it physical or emotional, pain has a lasting impact. Though pain is seen as the nemesis of happiness, it is ironically responsible for much of the happiness in our lives.
“Though pain is seen as the nemesis of happiness, it is ironically responsible for much of the happiness in our lives.” – Kamryn Adams
The way that that darkness gives way to the beauty of light, pain leads us into the delight of joy. But, this is not the great secret of pain. We learn early in life to contrast our pleasure from those things that bring us pain. We come into life knowing how to cry when we are hurting and laugh when we are in delight. Nobody taught you how to cry, nor to laugh. It is human instinct to differentiate our pain from our joy. We are in a habit of putting pain in the “NO” column of life – and that is certainly where it belongs. However, by trying to get through pain as quickly and as easily as possible, we may miss some of its redeeming qualities.
Pain Produces Wisdom
Painful experiences provide the foundation for what we learn in life. It is by burning our hands that we learn the stove is hot. We learn to choose our relationships wisely because of the painful lessons of past heartache. Pain can be a powerful teacher if you listen to its lessons. The wisdom we learn from pain can produce decisions that lead to great happiness and joy.
Pain Offers Protection
Nociceptors are places in the body that produce the physical sensation of pain. They are activated as a protective signal when something is misaligned, broken or malfunctioning in our bodies. Pain is the response to the problem, not the problem itself. For this reason, it is dangerous to simply self-medicate to get relief from the pain. Whether physical or emotional, the way to joyful living is not found in reducing pain, but by dealing with the issue that causes us pain.
Pain Builds Strength
Making it through a painful situation builds our ability to survive trials. The more pain we overcome the more we tend to realize our strength. It is a secret that no one wants to admit because nobody wants pain. The more pain we overcome in life the more tenacity and endurance we build to achieve our goals. Once you slay your first giant, the rest are brought down to size. The experience of pain strengthens you to overcome obstacles in your path. Romans 5 tells us that “suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Pain Leads to Repentance
We are most likely to draw closest to God when we are in pain. The Bible tells us that “godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10) Our prayer life intensifies when we are in pain. That time spent in the presence of God matures us as Christians. We begin to understand who we are and who God is during times of pain. It is likely that when we first came to Christ we were in pain. Pain can not only produce happiness on earth but bring us to God for an eternity of love.
Pain has a bad reputation and it is warranted. When we talk about our pain we don’t speak highly of it. No, we keep the secret benefits of our pain to ourselves. Sometimes we keep our pain to ourselves. We don’t need to introduce anyone to pain. Everyone living has felt pain at some point in life. So why belabor the issue? Why tell the secret of pain? After all, it’s not really a secret if everyone already knows.