Comfort in the Midst of Pain
January 4, 2015
There are times when you do everything to help another person as a parent, a friend, a pastor or a sibling, yet you find yourself feeling ‘hated without a cause’. Throughout the last 12 years of ministry this has definitely occurred in my personal life. Although I have not done everything right by any stretch of the imagination, ministry has a way of brusing you up a bit and not always giving you the turn out you would expect to come with helping others…I have seen the same response to parenting. Parents provide their children with a comfortable house, heat, air, food, water, clothing and love. But at a certain age, children become teenagers, then adults. The appreciation expected is not always seen in these maturing youth. Instead, an attitude of a lack of gratitude and wanting to leave you abandoned may be all you see in response.
This is a very hurtful process for a parent, caregiver or leader who has given all of their resources to help you. But Jesus went through the same experience with almost every one of His disciples. He then warned us that we would be persecuted and ‘hated without a cause’ just like Him, for following His actions. It is encouraging to know that this is a natural process we must go through as His followers and that there is a template already in place as we press through the unchartered, stormy waters of life. No one wants to be ‘hated without a cause’ but it is possible to learn how to endure through pain with a Godly outlook.
In John 15, Jesus teaches us this principle through the pain of persecution from the world, knowing He would soon be left my His closest ‘friends.’ In this moment He thinks of how He can use this painful situation as a relatability reference to others, teaching us how to go through difficulty in our current relationships. He teaches us to:
1. Abide in His love. When others harm us, stay focused on His love and live in His love. (Jn 15:10)
2. Be filled by His joy. As you remain in His love, joy will fill your heart. (Jn 15:11)
3. Lay down your life for your friends. Don’t give up sacrificing and being there for others, even when it may hurt at times. This is the greatest form of love. (Jn 15:13)
4. Know that you are not alone. The world hated Jesus and people may not like you at times. Jesus went through more pain than any of us could imagine. He understands. (Jn 15:18-20)
5. Rely on the coming Comforter. The Holy Spirit will come and Comfort your heart in the midst of pain. (Jn 15:26)
Let our hearts be Comforted as we know that we are doing a noble cause in continuing to lay down our lives for the one’s we love most, even if that involves an uncomfortable cost. It’s worth it to show the Love of Christ.
Has there ever been a time you’ve been required to continue in His love or lay down your life for a friend? Please encourage one another and share words of comfort below for others going through a similar trial.
Scripture for Meditation: And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. Colossians 3:17, NLT Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Colossians 3:23, NLT