but let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. for it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God. [1 peter 4:15–17]


what will define your pain?


pain is all around us. pain, at its root – according to God’s word, comes from sin.

for the wages of sin is death. [romans 6:23]

sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned [romans 5:12]


to be clear:

1- sin, in general, has brought death, brokenness, disease, and pain into this world. pain is here, all around us, because of all the sin in the world. (this does not necessarily mean my sin = my disease. however, all disease, death, brokenness, pain – exists because of the sin that entered this world through adam and eve.)

2- our sin always causes death [rom 6:23]. death meaning – without Christ, it separates us from Jesus. in Jesus, my sin causes pain to hearts all around us, including ours – and the Lords. (we grieve the Spirit – eph 4:30.)


sin is all around us – the question is not will you encounter pain. the question is – what will define the pain you and i encounter?


ask the Lord today: what is defining my pain?

it is my sin, the world’s sin, my parent’s sin, my spouse’s sin? all these can cause pain, but they do not have power to define your pain, unless we give them that power.

it is your grief, you despair, your hopelessness, your numbness? all these can inform pain, but they do not have power to define your pain, unless we give them that power.

or is it the person and work of Jesus that defines your pain (the gospel)?


ask the Lord today – “what defines my pain?”

beg the Lord today –  “may the gospel to define my pain!”


i (Jesus) have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. in the world you will have tribulation. but take heart; i have overcome the world.” [john 16:33]

we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. [2 corinthians 4:7-10]

blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. for as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. [2 corinthians 1:3-5]

so we do not lose heart. though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. for this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. [2 corinthians 4:16-18]


~ john ryran