The Prison of Pain

There has never been a society more averse to suffering than ours. We have perfected the art of reducing, eliminating, medicating – and if all else fails – hiding pain and suffering. But pain and suffering are an inescapable part of the human condition. The question is, to what end? Do the boundaries created by our frail bodies and the pain and suffering we endure in this life tell us anything about God? Join us for the next installment of Boundaries as we discuss the prison of pain and how to find God in that place.

Passage (Read it):

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.

Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:7-18

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

The problem of pain (2 Corinthians 4:7 & 12:7-8)

The promise of pain:

  • Greater dependence (2 Corinthians 4:7-10 & 12:7-10)
  • Greater life (2 Corinthians 4:11-14)
  • Greater hope (2 Corinthians 4:16-17)

The plan for pain (2 Corinthians 4:18)

Daily Reading:

Sunday: Psalm 16
Monday: 2 Corinthians 1-3
Tuesday: 2 Corinthians 4-6
Wednesday: 2 Corinthians 7-9
Thursday: 2 Corinthians 10-11
Friday: 2 Corinthians 12-13
Saturday: Romans 8

Other Resources:

Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
The Problem of Pain, C. S. Lewis

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