This post is based off Becca’s talking notes that she used to teach the Jr. High students at IDX, the evening of Sept. 14, 2014

Have you experienced physical or emotional pain? How do you deal with that pain?

There are two people who find joy in pain: 1. crazy people, and 2. people who know that that something good comes with the trial they’re going through.

Jesus says to stand strong when the pain comes, so why do we want to endure the pain? What are we looking forward to?

Locked in our trial is potential. Overcoming trials gives you endurance, maturity, and the ability to change you into something better. Pain has the potential to teach us so much, and this is evident when we admire people who go through difficult challenges and come out better people on the other end.

Pain never feels good at the time, but God wants to use it to turn us into better people. Pain is something we all have to go through; it’s something common to every life, so it helps us understand and sympathize (and sometimes empathize) with others. Pain teaches that God has bigger things planned for us, ultimately becoming more like him, and that only He can sooth and heal the pain, and give us the “crown of life.”

As babies, we laugh when our parents play with us, and we love their hugs and snuggles; we feel joy, comfort and peace. But when they leave the room, we cry like it’s the end of the world, because we think they’ve left us for good and they’re never coming back. As we get older, we begin to understand object permanence, which means that even if we can’t see or feel something with our senses, we know it’s still there.

Isn’t our relationship with Jesus like this? We feel like he isn’t there because we can’t see him or feel his presence, but just because we can’t see him or feel him with our senses doesn’t mean he isn’t still right there with us. He never really leaves us alone to suffer through life, even though it might feel like he does.

If you commit a crime and your sentence is for two years, you know your debt has been paid when the prison door opens after you’ve served your two years. So, how do we know that Jesus paid our debt? Because he was put to death, buried, and then the doors swung open, and he paid your dept of sin. And he will comfort us:

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

~ Revelation 21:4 (NIV)

We know that the world isn’t as it should be, and it’s right for us to rage against the pain and the darkness. But God is so good, he doesn’t leave us to handle it alone. He took our pain and used death to become our rescuer. He takes our pain and makes it glorious.