Friday, October 9, 2015

From the Editor: Pain to Purpose

Have you ever been in pain? I mean real pain. Maybe it was physical pain. A constant ache that will not go away and nothing will alleviate. Maybe it is an emotional pain. Have you ever felt a stab in your heart that although no one has touched you physically you feel it in your chest and you understand why they call it a broken heart?

The pain of divorce or an unfaithful spouse. The pain of a wayward child. The pain of disappointment, rejection or depression. The deep pain of longing for a child and month after month the pregnancy test showing no pink line. The pain of longing for a spouse, someone to share your life with and to come home to instead of emptiness and loneliness. The pain of the death of a loved one.
Pain is a part of life. Pain is a part of the process.
We’re all in process. A process is a series of actions, changes or functions bringing about a result. Process is also defined as progress. God  has a purpose for the process. He is perfecting you. He has begun a good work in you and He’s going to complete it. (Philippians 1:6)
But  the process is painful. It doesn’t feel good. It hurts. But there’s a purpose for your pain. Just like the pains of childbirth produce the promise of a long awaited baby, your pain is giving birth to something God has placed in you. Your pain is going to produce his purpose, “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Philippians 2:13.
Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (James 1:4), making you perfect in every good work to do his will (Hebrews 13:21).

God refines us in the furnace of affliction (Isaiah 48:10). Affliction means something that causes pain or suffering. I don’t know how He does it, but that’s what he uses. Even Jesus suffered. He suffered ,bled and died on the cross. He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, our flaws, our imperfections. The chastisement of our peace was upon him and with his stripes, we are healed (Isaiah 53).
This issue features the stories of those who have persevered. Their pain has pushed them into purpose. There are the stories of mothers who have faced the heartbreak of losing a child. What once was their misery has been transformed into their ministry. Although they still feel the pain, they are now comforting others with the same comfort that they have been comforted. You will find the testimonies of those who have suffered the pain of divorce and disappointment and turned that pain into ministries that help the homeless, veterans and others in need.
Don’t lose heart. There is a purpose for your pain. You’re going through the process. A refining process. God is molding you, making you and shaping you. He’s cutting you and polishing you. He’s removing the impurities so that you can shine with His glory.
Don’t lose heart because you have this ministry. You have a treasure in this jar of clay. Though you may feel like you are pressed on every side, don’t throw in the towel. Know that you are in the Refiner’s masterful hands, and He knows just how much heat you can stand, just how much pressure you can bear, how long it will take to form you and remove the impurities so that you can reflect His brilliance and fulfill His purpose.
This year, The Well Magazine will be focusing on the online presence of the magazine through the web site and social media. This will allow readers to receive more stories and information on a regular basis and also to interact with me, the stories and other readers through the web site and Facebook.  Please subscribe to the web site so that you can receive regular updates. The magazine is available to order in print and digital download through the web site. I pray that this issue of the magazine encourages and inspires you. That is part of our mission to encourage, enlighten, edify and inspire. Please keep this magazine in your prayers. Thank you for reading The Well and I look forward to sharing with you.

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