by Rick Warren — March 14, 2023
From Where is God When It Hurts
“God teaches people through suffering and uses distress to open their eyes.”
Job 36:15 (GNT)
Even when you’re not aware of it, God is directing your life. Proverbs 16:9 says, “A person may plan his own journey, but the LORD directs his steps” (GW).
God likes to direct you through his Word. When we read and study the Bible regularly, that’s often all he needs. But many of us don’t spend enough time reading God’s Word, so another way he’ll guide and direct us is through pain.
Job 36:15 says, “God teaches people through suffering and uses distress to open their eyes” (GNT).
Have you ever thought about why horse riders put a bit in a horse’s mouth? It’s not for the horse’s comfort. The rider uses discomfort to point the horse in a different direction.
In the same way, pain guides and directs you and often turns you in a new direction.
When King David realized that God was using the pain in his life to point him in the direction God wanted him to go, David was actually grateful for his pain: “My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees” (Psalm 119:71 NLT).
C. S. Lewis once said that God whispers to us in our pleasure but shouts to us in our pain. Pain is God’s megaphone. It never leaves you where it found you. No matter how bad the pain is or where it came from, God can use it to point you toward your purpose.
Paul said to the believers at Corinth who were experiencing some discomfort and pain, “Now I am glad . . . not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways” (2 Corinthians 7:9 NLT).
You don’t have to be glad that you’re experiencing pain. But you can ask God to use your pain to guide you in the right direction and thank him for all the ways he will provide for you.