Great People Endure Great Pain

“It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.” - AW Tozer

This quote from well-known theologian, AW Tozer, has been sinking into my heart deeply as of late. We have so many people in our church who are experiencing REAL PAIN in their lives - loss, hardship, stress, anxiety, depression. This past Sunday was one of the most powerful Sundays (if not THE most powerful Sunday) we’ve ever had as we talked about where Jesus is when things don’t turn out as expected!

Here’s the encouraging thing about the Tozer quote. If you’re going through PAIN it means God has a PLAN! And GOD’S PLAN IS SO MUCH GREATER THAN OUR PAIN!! Everyone in scripture whom God used in a significant way endured significant pain and trials.

Noah endured the ridicule of all of his neighbors.

Abraham walked the road to sacrificing his one and only son.

Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers.

Moses endured complaints, distrust, coups, and disobedience from the Israelites.

David spent much of his life running from his mentor who turned on him to kill him.

Ruth lost her entire family except for her Mother-In-Law.

Paul faced shipwreck, persecution, flogging, prison, and dangers we could never fathom.

Mary watched her firstborn son brutally executed.

Oh, and let’s not forget about Jesus, who was beaten, mocked, flogged, and nailed to the cross.

All of these people were GREATLY USED by God because they were willing to be GREATLY WOUNDED by God. I’ve often wondered why this must happen in order to be used. Why can’t you become great without having to endure all of the suffering, pain, hurt, back-stabbing, and betrayal?

I don’t want to dismiss this with the trite “No Pain, No Gain” cliche, but we DO gain a lot through pain. God wants to use people who are HUMBLE. He wants to use people who are completely dependent on Him. He wants to use people who really believe they are nothing outside of the power of Jesus. Pain is the only way we can truly step into humility.

So be encouraged!! If you’re walking through a season of PAIN right now, Jesus is setting you up for a season of TRIUMPH! Lean into Him during this season!

Anchor yourself in the truth of Romans 8:28:

“And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (emphasis added)

- Davey Blackburn

Davey Blackburn is the lead pastor of Resonate Church. You can find him on Twitter at @daveyblackburn.