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Moving Past Pain and Discouragement

by Faith Ann Rañises
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Being a Christian does not mean a pain-free life. It is even more painful because you get to feel a whole lot more when you witness and experience sin – seeing many who are oppressed, guilt in committing sin, sadness when a family member rejects the Gospel, and the list goes on. Recently, I got discouraged seeing a close friend influencing his other friends to get wasted by giving hard liquor non-stop on a Saturday night. I was caught off guard seeing him like that because we were close friends and I thought that he has a deep relationship with God. My heart ached as I saw those people wasting their life away like that, thinking it was just purely for fun, so much so that it lingered in my thoughts for 2 days. This may sound like I am over-reacting but such act/s imply that they are lost, hurting, and have nowhere else to run to.

As I spent time reading God’s Word, I somehow related with Hannah’s story in 1 Samuel 1. I can relate with her because she was experiencing discouragement. She was married to a man named Elkanah but they had no children. Peninnah, the other wife of Elkanah, would always taunt Hannah at every opportunity about her being childless, because the former has children of her own. Each time Peninnah would do this, Hannah was left to tears and would not eat because of deep anguish. One time, Hannah got up and went to pray in the place of worship. She was very discouraged and she poured out her heart to God. After praying, she went back home and began to eat again and she was no longer sad. The Lord remembered her plea and granted her a son, who was named Samuel. Hannah was overjoyed and declared in 1 Samuel 2:2 – “No one is Holy like the LORD! There is no one besides you; there is no rock like our God.”

Upon reading these chapters, I followed Hannah and poured my heart out to God. I told Him what happened and how I felt about it. I also entrusted it to Him because only He can change a person’s heart. I’m glad I did it because it helped me move forward and respond in faith that God will work in my friend’s life. God also impressed in my heart to confront him in a loving manner and to constantly pray for him. There is no good in allowing my feelings to linger for long, causing me to be sad and unproductive.

In times of pain and discouragement, where or who do you turn to? Drinking, partying, movies, food, or friends? It might help take away the sadness felt at the moment, but it will creep in again when you’re all alone because the root of the problem was not addressed. When all other means are exhausted, our last option would usually be to turn to God. When we turn to God, we will experience true peace and joy that we have been looking for all along. C.S. Lewis said that pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world. It is true that God uses pain to remind us that we need Him, our Healer and Joy Giver. Stop wasting time. Don’t make Him your last resort. Turn to Him NOW.

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