Life brings pain. It is a fact of life. No matter how young or old you are, you will face it. Some Christians are under the impression that pain is born out of sin or making God unhappy. This was a prevailing theory in Jesus’ time, as well. In John 9, Jesus and His disciples come upon a blind man, and the disciples asked Him if it was because of his sin or his parents’ sin that he was blind. Jesus corrects them and informs them that it was for neither reason, but so that God could be glorified through him.
When you approach pain with the mindset that it is due to some grave mistake, you open yourself up for doubting God. If pain is a result of wrongdoing, then why do bad things happen to good people? It can lead you to doubting yourself. What am I doing wrong? Why can’t I please God? Am I just terrible and unforgivable? It can be really defeating.
Pain is real, and it is a result of the fallen world in which we live. It is true that sometimes our pain is brought on by our own mistakes, but other times, it is outside of our control. Having a grasp on pain, why it exists, and how God can use it to make you flourish can be life changing. So that is why we will spend the next 5 weeks in youth group discussing different types of pain, how to handle them, and how to lean on God, because I want our teenagers to flourish. We will ask, “Does God still love me? If so, why do I hurt?” We will also look at how to deal with the pains of loss, rejection, suffering, and growing up.
1 Peter 1:6-7 says, “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”