Pain gets our full attention

By Dave Henning / March 5, 2018

“Nothing gets our full attention like pain.  It breaks down false idols and purifies false motives.  It reveals where we need to heal, where we need to grow.  It refocuses our priorities like nothing else.  And pain is part and parcel of God’s sanctification process in our lives.”- Mark Batterson

“I would still have this consolation — my joy in unrelenting pain — that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.”- Job 6:10 (NIV)

In Chapter 11 (“Joystick”) of Whisper, Mark Batterson covers the seventh love language – pain.  Pastor Batterson begins as he cites Job 6:10.  Most noteworthy, Mark observes that the Hebrew word for “joy” in this passage from Job appears only once in Scripture.  Here the word refers to rare joy, extreme joy.  It’s a joy that doesn’t deny reality.  But, it defies reality!

Furthermore, Pastor Batterson writes, the most literal translation of this joy = “to leap like a horse so stones spark.”  Thus, it’s more than jumping for joy, Mark exhorts.  It means to dance on disappointment.

However, in the midst of adverse times, we may believe God’s turned His back on us.  As a result, we usually want to return the favor.  Hence, we turn our back on God.  Yet, that’s precisely the time we need to lean on and lean into Him.  Like Job, we must refuse to cut God off.  And we continue listening.

In conclusion, Mark dares to broach the subject of pain as a gift.  For without discomfort, we would:

  • repeatedly reinjure ourselves in the same way
  • simply maintain the status quo
  • ignore problems capable of killing us

During difficult times, we find God’s presence and hear His voice most clearly when we’re hurting.

Today’s question: How does pain focus your full attention on God?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Pain – sometimes a gift from God”

About the author

Dave Henning

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