Investment pain

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by Richard Mansel, managing editor

People who suffer from chronic pain know what it means to hurt. While they cannot eliminate all of the discomfort from their lives, they can limit its severity by being careful and wise in their activities.

They plan their days, making accommodations so they can carry out their responsibilities. However, sometimes events are so important that the pain becomes secondary.

A day with loved ones or a thrilling activity can be worth the pain. So the chronic pain sufferer prepares themselves to perform something beyond their abilities such as walking or standing for long periods of time.

They know they will pay dearly afterwards, but they see it as an investment to accomplish something important. Cherished time with family, for example, may be worth extra pain or time in bed.

A spiritual application can be made.

As Christians, there is enough work for all of us to do. This work includes activities that we may fear such as talking to strangers or conducting a Bible study. We naturally shy away from such things because we fear failure and embarrassment.

Call it investment pain because it has to be done by someone. Like the chronic pain sufferer, we do that which requires us to step out of our comfort zones.

We must be willing to suffer the discomfort required to do God’s will. Nevertheless, we must put the Lord first and advance his goals by giving our lives completely to his service.

Christ suffered the indignity and excruciating pain of the crucifixion when he did not want to do so (Matthew 26:36-39). His ultimate investment pain should certainly lead us to do our small part.

All Christians can do something to advance the cause of the Lord. When we are transformed by the gospel, we must overlook our own comfort and place ourselves in his hands (Romans 12:1-2). We are his instruments for good (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

Haggai condemned the nation of Israel for building fancy houses while God’s house lie desolate (Haggai 1:2-3). It is easy to think of ourselves, but that does nothing for God (Haggai 1:6).

It is time to invest in discomfort and to do God’s will, no matter what he needs us to do.

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