An Unpopular Perspective on Pain

Don't be afraid of pain, obstacles or challenges because, despite their discomfort, they shape who you are.


01. Belief.

At the risk of sounding like your father when you were a kid, going through tough times truly does build character. Adversity forces you to make decisions based on what you believe not what you think others want to see because there are significant consequences. And should you not know what you believe, adversity will force your hand and force your answer.

Trials are an opportunity to become a better human. And if you succeed - if you come out of the fire stronger than before - you will come out a hero.

There’s no hope of being a hero if there’s no adversity.
— Jon Foreman

02. Gratitude.

Passenger's 2012 hit song, "Let Her Go," illustrates this point perfectly.

Well you only need the light when it’s burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go
Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go
— Passenger, Let Her Go

Some things can only be appreciated when contrasted with it's opposite. The things we love, we often take for granted until we've lost them. It is scientifically proven that gratitude is a key factor in happiness. In a roundabout sort of way... so is adversity.

03. Empathy.

Charles Spurgeon once remarked, "A Jesus who never wept could never wipe away my tears." Until you've experienced hardship, it's difficult to understand the same pain. Jesus - our high priest - is in a unique position to be both God and man. To be all-powerful and yet relate with our pain and suffering here on earth.

7 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.
8 Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered.
— Hebrews 5:7-8

Empathy gives you a bond from which you can listen, understand and comfort. Adversity stretches your understanding of suffering so that you can empathize with the those going through suffering themselves.