Strength in Pain
We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Romans 5:4 (NIV)
The culture says that we should seek pleasure and avoid pain at every opportunity. But there is strength in pain.
Our very salvation is secured from the heavy cost of pain in that God gave up His very Son, who gave up His very life. The pain of being misunderstood, the pain of being disbelieved, the pain of being misrepresented, the pain of being denied and betrayed, the pain of crucifixion itself—all these were the high costs for human redemption.
That’s why you can’t ever let anybody downplay the weight of our faith in difficult times. Don’t let folks in this culture make you believe that being a Christian is passive. The culture would say that loving your enemy is a passive response, but that’s because the culture wants only to embrace the pain-free emotion of rendering hate for hate.
Part of the reason the culture is trying to downplay the love ethic that is taught to us in Scripture is because it doesn’t take any emotional strength for you to respond to hate by giving hate. You’re not displaying strength when you match ignorance with ignorance, or you go guttural when guttural greets you. But it takes a whole lot of strength to love your enemies. It takes a whole lot of strength to be nice to people who you know have been wicked in your life. It takes all whole lot of strength to stay in the middle of a difficult place and know that those circling around you are always trying to plot your demise.
And yet God says that no weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every lying tongue shall be brought to condemnation.
Brothers and sisters, don’t go down the discount aisle of pleasure, but go down the full-price aisle of pain, because that’s where strength is.