The Value of Painful Experiences

hard times, difficultyI’ve come to believe that the amount of difficulty or pain we go through can be equal to the value the experience brings to our life.

We all go through hard times.  Some days the weight of pain on your chest can feel like it’s about to take your last breath. Someone said we are either moving into a storm or coming out of one.

Some storms are brought about by the choices we have made. As we exercise that beautiful gift the Father gave us, we make choices (some good, some not so good) and then live out the consequences. {Most of us would like to blame someone else, but learning to own up to our choices is a powerful growth habit.}

Some storms are God intervening in our lives by preventing harm, even removing something we want. Out of His huge love for us, sometimes that means stepping in between us and something that will cause harm or take us off the best path for our life. After all, isn’t that what good fathers do? {Some of us are wrongly blaming Him and need to “forgive God” so that our anger and hurt can then be healed by Him.}

We often think we know what is best for us, but we don’t. There are times we can’t trust our own heart’s motivations or desires, and the best way to live is in trusting the Lord to be who He says He is for us…

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”

The heart is deceitful above all things
    and beyond cure.
    Who can understand it?

I, the Lord, search the heart
    and examine the mind…” Jeremiah 17:7-10a

The way we respond to life experiences is key. As I teach my coaching clients, when we cannot control anything else in our life, we can choose our response to what life brings. No one can take our ability to choose our own response to what happens. We love blaming others though instead of doing the hard introspective work and learning to make better choices. But when we choose to respond with trust in the Father, that decision allows us to do more than just face the painful experiences. We can choose to embrace them, expecting God to use them for our growth and maturity so that we are able to receive the gift they bring and grow from it. stronger, difficulty

James calls believers to this level of faith and trust, to “embrace the friction of life” and even count it all joy! What the enemy tries to use to break us down, God can use to make us more complete in Him!

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4

Confession: I still find it hard to “consider it pure joy” most times, but as I remember that the value of my experience must be as great as the pain I feel, I can learn to embrace what comes. That doesn’t  mean I ignore my emotions, but I let them out to God, and declare (out loud) that I am going to trust Him through it. {The growth habit in action!} Then the burden lightens and I imagine Him so much bigger than anything I face. I choose to focus on Him instead of my circumstances for I have learned that what I focus on grows larger.

So what about you? What problem is gaining size in your life because you’re focused on it, complaining about it, and sharing it all on your Facebook timeline? This response weakens you. It’s so much nicer to bring it to the Father and watch Him lift the value out of it and use it instead to strengthen you.

There’s abundant grace for the journey,


From the desk by the window with a heart of compassion as we learn to embrace every experience of life.

  • Robin’s Spiritual Life Coaching helps you change your life.
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(c) Robin L. Lewis, Certified Spiritual Life Coach / Speaker / Writer at Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC, January 30, 2016


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