I was watching a certain Bible Study when the Pastor said that God uses pain to process us. As soon as I heard it, I didn’t come into agreement with it, only because I’ve tried that way and it doesn’t work. I can say unequivocally that the pain, lack, heartbreak, and poverty I experienced, did not lead me to prosperity. What it did lead to was, more of the same. Therefore, when I hear statements like that, I cringe. Though I must admit, my flesh did leap and here’s why.
The flesh likes pain. It enjoys painful experiences. The flesh is also prideful and thus, when the mention of pain occurs, it begins to brag and boast about how much pain it has endured. Therefore, when we hear something about pain, we immediately come into agreement with it because as humans; especially as human followers of Jesus Christ, we believe that’s what we do. Christians suffer. And though the Bible does say that we are to suffer, we haven’t been taught suffering properly. But that’s not the REAL ISSUE today.
The REAL ISSUE is that God does not process us through pain, and as a believer and not just a follower, you should know that. Followers simply follow what everyone says about the Lord and His Word whereas believers’ study and rightly divide it. Believers of Jesus know that…
"He [was] despised, and left of men…[and that He was] a man of pains, and acquainted with sickness, and as one hiding [His] face from us."
We know that…
“…He [was] despised, and we esteemed Him not [and that]. Surely our sicknesses He [has] borne, and our pains – He… [carried and that…we…esteemed Him plagued, smitten of God, and afflicted…"
We also know that…
“…He [was] pierced for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace [was upon] Him, and by His bruise[s] there is healing to us.”
– Isaiah 53:4,5 Young’s Literal Translation
We know that all too well. We know that nowhere in those verses does it say that God uses pain to process us. In fact, it says that Jesus bore it. And though those types of statements sound deep, it is that deepness that often leads to Deep-Pression™.
Deep-Pression™ is a term that I use to describe the intersection of hyper-spirituality and depression.
Mine came after I heard a well-known prophetess say that in order to have a “worldwide ministry” or to be used “mightily by God” that you had to go through hell. I believed what she said and as a result, used my faith to allow hellish people and situations into my life. So much so, that I lived a life full of hardships for 20 years. T W E N T Y. Yet, it led me nowhere.
I still, to this day, am NOT in ministry and neither am I being used MIGHTILY by God…in a public sense. Though I have a writing ministry that God does use me mightily in, I am not in any bookstore, on a major platform, and have yet to be asked to speak in anyone’s church. Not that I’m calling the woman of God a liar, but I went through the hardships of hell for an extended period of time and I have yet to experience what she said you would if you did. #IJS
So what all did I go through? I went through being wrongfully terminated, going from $50,000 a year to food stamps, having two cars to walking, having my own place to a homeless shelter, having my house shot up, being shot in the leg in addition to living below the national poverty level for years and NONE…do you hear me? NONE OF IT led to prosperity. And the reason it didn’t is because I wasn’t using my faith for the good.
Hebrews 11:1 says,
“…faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
I was hoping for a worldwide ministry and to be used mightily of God while at the same time hoping and using my faith to believe for the substance of BAD things to happen. And everytime something bad happened, I mistakenly thought that my faith didn’t work when in actuality it was working…only for the bad things. So often we’re taught that our faith works for good, but it also works for the bad and when you believe that God processes you with the bad, then you inadvertently draw bad substance into your life. Again, I believed that I had to go through hell so when hellish situations kept coming, I had no idea that it was my faith that created the substance for it to happen. Not only that, but I foolishly believed that God it was God’s will for me to go through hell when clearly Romans 12:2 says…
“…do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
This verse says nothing about being processed by hell, pain, and hardships in order to prove what is that GOOD, and acceptable and perfect will of God. In fact, it says that we need to renew our minds from that way of thinking. But even in all that, I still believed that it was His will for me to experience all that and even went so far as to believe that God was escorting me into those situations because again, GOD USES PAIN TO PROCESS US, right? But how foolish is that for us to think that God wants us to experience what He sent His Son to go through on our behalf. But where does that kind of thinking come from? It comes from the book of Job.
Job Ain’t For All of Us
As Christians, we think that because God “allowed” Job to experience the loss of all he had, including his wife, children, and health, that we have to. But that’s not what the rest of what God’s Word says. My Bible says that Jesus took all that for me. My Bible says that Jesus became poor so that I might become rich. Not so that after He went to hell, I’d continuously have to live like it.
But again, the reason we believe that way is because (1) We were spiritually lazy and didn’t know the Word for ourselves, and (2) Because some well-meaning Pastor, teacher, or more than likely, some unbeliever, talked us into that.
They taught us that God uses pain when all throughout scripture it says that God uses good. Even when we miss it, the Bible says,
‘Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads [us] to repentance?’– Romans 2:4
The problem is that those who try to convince us that we have to go through all of that actually DESPISE the riches of God’s goodness and therefore try to talk us into using our own faith for problems. The disheartening thing is that so many buy in to that when just the opposite is true. Not saying that we won’t experience pain, lack, heartbreak, and poverty. But usually when we do, it’s because of disobedience, and not because God is allowing it to happen because if that were true, then what was the devil doing? While God is requiring and escorting us into all this pain, where is Satan and what are all of his folks doing?
No, my dear readers. As believers, we cannot always use Job as our template. Just because God allowed that to happen to Job does not mean it’s going to happen to us. If that were true, then all of us would also have to experience being in the belly of a whale like Jonah or spending the bulk of our days in prison like Paul. We conveniently don’t buy into those requirements, so why are we so quick to believe that we have to lose everything, be sick, and experience pain in order to receive double, or anything for that matter, from God?
No, my dear reader, don’t believe that. God is a good God and the same way He can use the pain of our disobedience to teach us something, He can also use the path of gentleness to teach us the same lesson. We just have to adjust our thinking to believe for it. In fact, why don’t you…
Pray this with me: Heavenly Father, please forgive me for believing that I have to experience pain in order to receive from You. Please forgive me for thinking that You want me to go through hell in order to receive what You clearly sent Your Son to go through for me so that I don’t have to. And please oh please forgive me for believing that You would actually escort and require me to be heartbroken in order to receive Your best. I believe You are a good God and that You will teach me what I need to know in a good way. I believe this by faith. In Jesus’ name.
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