Monday, March 15, 2021

Praising in Pain - Martin Wiles

Welcome to Meandering Monday where we meander back in time to a previously published devotion. 

But how can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a pagan land? Psalm 137:4 NLT

Pain and praise don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

The moment I chomped down on the delicious bite of food, I knew I was in trouble. A sharp pain seized my jaw on the opposite side of which I chewed. Bouts with TMJ (Temporomandibular joint) aren’t fun, and I didn’t have time for it now. Eating became painful rather than pleasurable. When I had endured all I could stand, I called a local chiropractor in hopes of receiving relief. After two treatments, I enjoyed my meals again.

The psalmist—along with thousands of other exiles—languished in captivity in a foreign land, far away from God’s temple in Jerusalem. Serving foreign rulers proved painful. How could he and the other exiles possibly praise God in such unpleasant circumstances?

Despite its unpleasantness, pain teaches valuable lessons in patience and dependence. Praising in the pain reminds us Christ is our Great Physician. We depend on Him for healing, regardless of whether we visit a physician or not. Ultimately, he is our healer and the One who gives us the strength to endure pain when it is short and long-lived.

Praising in the pain forces us to look to the future. For believers, a bright eternity is promised—one where the pain is absent. The culprit of bodies afflicted by sin is pain, but in heaven bodies free of sin will be souls free of pain.

Praising when in pain maintains a good perspective. God never promised a pain-free life. When we praise despite the pain, we’re reminded He’s in control of the intensity and duration of our misery. Responding to our aches in a godly manner allows us to use our experiences to help others. Our response to pain shows others how God gives us the strength to face, endure, and overcome unpleasant situations in life without adopting bitterness toward God.

Are you praising in your pain?

Prayer: Eternal God, remind us that You are the master of our bodies and will give us the power to praise You even in our pain.

Tweetable: Have you learned to praise in the pain? 

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