Pain is never appreciated as a gift until God unwraps it. He grabs our attention when we’re in pain and, through its refining process, He brings the best out of us. Writes the prophet Isaiah “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction” (Isaiah 48:10). Pain is a “blessing,” so wrote Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918–2008), the Russian literary giant and outspoken critic of Soviet communism. Describing his 11 years of suffering in forced labor camps and exile, and its effect on him, he said: “It was only when I lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good…That is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say…‘Bless you, prison, for having been in my life!’” One day, we also will look back on our prisons of trials and afflictions, and say, “Thank you, Pain, for coming into my life!” (Psalm 119:67, 71, 75; Romans 5:3, 4.)—Samuel Koranteng-Pipim
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