How Not To Hurt So Bad

“looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:2

Pain is inevitable, joy is optional in this world. It’s humanly impossible to comprehend the pain our Lord suffered on the Cross where He died not for His own sins, but rather where He bore in His body the sins of the entire world. And yet it’s from the very Cross where Jesus after being beaten and tortured, crucified and left to die displayed the joy the writer of Hebrews speaks of.

What Joy could have possibly been before Jesus from the Cross? Try to imagine if you can being forced to stay awake for over 24 hours all the while enduring six different trials as well as the beatings and floggings Jesus received even before being nailed to the Cross. Jesus was so weakened in His physical condition by this time the Roman authorities compelled Simon the Cyrene to carry His Cross the remainder of the climb up to Golgotha. Though the Persians invented crucifixion, it was the Romans who perfected it. Crucifixion was a means of a painful slow death that would ultimately take the life of its victims by suffocation. Unable to push up from the nail that pierced their feet to take a breath, the victims would gasp for air until they were no longer had the strength to do so and then they would die. So where is there joy in the Cross?

In John 19 we read an account of the final moments of Jesus earthly life just before He would breathe His last. Its here we get a glimpse of the joy the writer of Hebrews speaks of. The apostle John writes in the gospel bearing his name, “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.”

Don’t get me wrong, there is no pleasure in the pain but the pain we endure in this life doesn’t have to hurt so bad when our hearts are in the right place. When we focus on our pain I promise you it hurts more and when we focus on the needs of others it’s not that the pain is lessoned, it merely becomes bearable and in some cases even joyful as it connects us to Christ. Ask almost any woman who has given birth naturally and without pain medication and they will tell you the pain seemed almost impossible to bear and the only way they got through it was to keep their mind focused on the joy that was before them, the joy they would know when they held their new born baby in their arms for the very first time. That thought reminds me of a conversation I had with a mom who lost a son and how she remarked when she was asked how she was getting along. She would say, “The pain doesn’t hurt so much when I focus on what others need.”

I believe that is what Jesus had in mind as He hung on the Cross. The joy Jesus experienced from the Cross came by way of His focus as to why He was doing what He was doing. Jesus suffered for others, namely for me and for you. Jesus didn’t die for Himself, He died for us. Jesus gave His life so that we could live and from the Cross we get to see how someone can experience joy even in the midst of suffering by focusing on what others need. God knew we needed a Savior and so He gave us Jesus!

When we focus on the needs of others when we hurt we become a beautiful reflection of Christ. Mary, the mother of Jesus most likely never felt more loved than in that moment when Jesus spoke to her from the Cross and John probably never felt more needed and appreciated than in that same moment. When we focus on the needs of others when we hurt the message is loud and clear that we care more about others needs than we do about our own and thats life transforming. Reading Luke’s gospel account we see the impact of being others focused has on people. Luke writes that after witnessing all the events of the Cross, “So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous Man!”

It really is true, pain in this life is inevitable, joy is optional. The next time you hurt and feel like curling up in a ball, don’t. Instead, try getting up and reaching out and looking for someone who hurts worse than you and try helping them. Focus on the needs of others and watch how God uses others to focus on the needs of you.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 13:34-35


Michael Osthimer





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