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Self-Pity or Surrender?

Published 7/10/19

Then Satan answered the Lord and said, "Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face." And the Lord said to Satan, "Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life."


• Can you worship in the storm?

• Physical pain can constrict our lives by limiting our activities, hijacking our emotions, and dampening our spirits. What should we do during those moments?

• Our Lord's promise that His grace is sufficient and helps us overcome the damage of physical pain. Do you believe this. (Please explain.)

If you've ever wondered what Satan is really after, just read Job. Satan made it crystal clear that his goal was to turn Job away from God. Now he wanted to use another tool from his bag of tricks: physical pain.

Our Lord has created us in a wonderfully marvelous way with body, mind, and spirit all interconnected. What affects one of these areas of our being often spills over into the others. Physical discomfort and pain, these warning signals from our bodies that something is wrong, in particular can cause feelings of anxiety and depression. It can also affect our spiritual lives, distracting us from prayer and leading us to question God's love for us.

This is especially true when the pain is extreme or chronic. It can limit our physical activities, our ability to sleep or concentrate, constricting and consuming our lives. It is estimated that 100 million people suffer with chronic pain in the United States alone. This number is more than the sufferers of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined. For these individuals, finding ways to cope physically, emotionally, and spiritually are critical.

The apostle Paul wrote about his own experiences with pain in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. Although Paul didn't give specifics, he described a thorn in his flesh, "a messenger of Satan to harass me" (verse 7 ESV). Rather than letting the pain drive him away from God, Paul turned to him in prayer. He openly shared what was on his heart and gave up on trying to deal with it in his own human strength. The answer Paul received was not the removal of the thorn, yet it provided a deeper level of spiritual comfort: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" (verse 9 ESV). With these words, our Lord reminds us that whatever pain we are going through, His grace covers it all. These words of hope encourage us not to let our physical pains pull us down into self-pity. Instead, He encourages us to rely on His strength and grace to continue to nurture our spirits.


My Lord, thank You for the wonderful way You have made me. I ask for Your help today to deal with the pains I experience. Father, let me turn to You in times of weakness and fully draw from Your strength. Amen.


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