What Pain is …
If I’m in pain, does it mean I’m resisting? No! Just because I’m experiencing pain over a situation in life, doesn’t necessarily mean I’m in resistance. As I said in my previous posts, there’s a difference between pain and suffering. Suffering is the direct result of my resistance to God, where pain is actually proof of life. Pain is inevitable. If I’m living life, I will experience pain. Suffering, on the other hand, is torment and evidence that I’m in opposition to God.
If I’m avoiding pain, I inevitably will avoid life. Life is the full color palette of emotions—joy, sadness, love, hate, pain and ecstasy. Pain happens in growth, with change, while dying to something, and even in loving. Pain is part of our living experience. It may be seen as the plague but it’s just the reality of our existence on this earth.
So Is Pain Resistance?
No, pain is not the sign of resistance. And in actuality it may be proof that I’m not resisting but rather in my process with God. While writing this, Martha came to me and read from her booklet, “The Great Lie.” In it she quoted Madam Guyon who said, “Every problem in life is from resistance to God. There is no problem that is not resistance to God.” WOW, is this a confirmation? This is a statement spoken by a person who has embraced their cross and accepted the pain of their dying. People talk a lot about the cross, but this is a statement from one on their cross.
Resistance Produces Suffering
I’ll take this a step further with a quote by Martha, also from “The Great Lie.” “If our response is not surrender to His will, it is rebellion.” This is the explanation to why resistance produces suffering. It’s because resistance is rebellion and suffering is the due consequence of rebellion. The torrent of suffering is real and just. If we resist God, then we reap suffering. I know this has been the case every time in my life. When I’ve pushed back against God’s will, I’ve felt the fire of hell licking my back.
Pain is life, and resistance is avoiding Life, which produces suffering. The enemy would want to convince us that pain is evil. That pain is punishment. That pain IS suffering. But what life reveals is that pain is part of the cosmic quotient fashioned by God. Why else would hunger, desire, and passion hurt and cause pain? Pain is not the enemy but an awareness of living Life.
And Saul said, Who are You, Lord? And He said, I am Jesus, Whom you are persecuting. It is dangerous and it will turn out badly for you to keep kicking against the goad [to offer vain and perilous resistance].
Act 9:5 AMP
Call it pain. Call it suffering. They process of passing through them leads to growth. Give growth the opportunity to lift you out of despair and it will deliver. Succumb and put it in the Lord’s hands. He never disappoints because his love is infinite. Amen.
Pain for me is an almost constant companion. One that is not connected to events or tangible happenings but an inward experience all its own. I’m asking the Lord to cause me to accept what I cannot accept. Thank you, John.
I can relate to that Linda. I used to live in continual pain (suffering). It was my “normal” life. Not until you made this comment did I realize it is gone. I don’t live in that place any more. Not that I don’t have painful times but the dark cloud of sadness is gone. I am going to have to ask the Father what He did. As I state in this post pain is not the enemy but suffering is. Maybe it is about my resistance, or more correctly stated, lack of it now. Wow, I am going to go… Read more »
Dear John, this is so critical for me! I’ve been so guilty of resistance to God! I repent!
Pain is a huge motivator as well as deterrent. It can make or break us, huh?! Bless you for seeking Him in this. Not many will.
Thank you John! I agree with the distinction you make between the two. Though I would have not been able to analyze it and word it like you do so well, but because I have experienced the difference in my life as well, I see it now. I’ve had to live same set of circumstances, dealing with same persons, but two different experiences, because of two different reactions. When reacted in my flesh, resisting, over ill treatment, have produced anger, bitterness, a living hell inside of me. And when faced with same thing, but turned to The Lord instead, hiding… Read more »
Let’s try this again…
“Suffering is the direct result of my resistance to God,…”
“Suffering, on the other hand, is torment and evidence that I’m in opposition to God.”
I will give these statements a hardy AMEN! I agree that many times my suffering is at my own hand because of my resistance.
However! For the sake of “blog discussion”…
How do we explain the sufferings of Christ (Luke 9:22, Luke 17:25, Acts 3:18, to list a few) when we know he never resisted/sinned (John 8:29, 1 Peter 2:22, Hebrews 4:15…)?
Tammy, yes, I want to know this answer, too.
My thoughts went there also.
Me too, can wait to hear what He has to say. Maybe tomorrow or Wednesday??
Hi guys! I think that there’s a bit of confusion because of the wording. When John originally broached this subject, he used the word ’suffering’ to describe a sometimes-prolonged agony or torment of the spirit that may or may not include physical or emotional elements as well. Essentially, he defined ’suffering’ as what happens when we rebel against the will of God (resistance) and find ourselves adrift and out of fellowship with Christ. He described ‘pain’ as an inevitable part of life and living which affects us spiritually, emotionally and/or physically (i.e., unjust persecution, loving someone and being rejected or… Read more »
Got it! He gave me the answer…! Writing it out now, stay tuned.
Well…this is not all I typed. I’ll give it another shot. It just vanished!
Yes, John, I have avoided pain, hated pain, and I have also resisted and hated my life. Praise GOD that HE is bringing me out and I renounce all resistance to HIM. Now I must go find my copy of THE GREAT LIE: