Entrusting Our Pain to a Good God

DiAnnMills @DiAnnMills

By Dr. Michelle Bengtson @DrMBengtson

Jesus warned that while we live on earth, we will experience pain, suffering, trials, and tribulations. In my own life, and in the lives of most of my patients coming to see me as a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist, I’ve seen how words, events, and actions wound our heart. If left untreated, they often result in shame, guilt, regret, remorse, fear, and isolation. Whether the result of our own mistakes and misdeeds, or those done to us, these wounds often lead to embarrassment, and result in keeping our pain hidden under a cloud of shame.

When we are wounded, we can respond in one of two primary ways: we either ignore or lock up the pain in our heart, or we pursue healing so that our wounds can become sacred scars. What if we could trust God to take our brokenness and our pain and create something beautiful?

When we go through painful trials, people often offer Bible verse band aids, such as Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” And yet we often wonder, “How? How will you bring good from this, God?”

This verse says “all things” …I wonder what your “thing/pain/wound” is? What is it that you feel has diminished your value or worth? What has caused you to hide and isolate in shame and embarrassment so others won’t find out? What occurred that you feel now disqualifies you from the abundant life Christ came to give, or from being used by God? What is your “thing?”

Too often, Romans 8:28 is quoted, but verse 29 is forgotten: “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters” (emphasis mine).

In our pain, we long for God to bring good from our circumstances. We want our prodigal to come home, or our marriage restored. We desire to be vindicated, or to be healed. God promises to bring good in all things, and there is no greater good than being conformed to the image of his Son, Jesus.

Jesus was also wounded. “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). But the amazing thing is that in his resurrected body, Jesus still had the scars in his hands, feet, and side. Those scars served a purpose and were a beautiful reflection of that fact that he was who he said he was and that he did what he said he would do.

Our scars serve a beautiful purpose as well. They are the tapestry of the lessons we’ve learned through pain, and the mirror through which we reflect more of Christ.

Will you give God your wounds, your pain, your brokenness, your shameful past, and allow our good, redemptive God to restore and redeem what you may have believed was otherwise lost?


Dr. Michelle Bengtson is a hope concierge! Her passion is to share hope and encouragement with others, whether as a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist, host of the award-winning podcast Your Hope Filled Perspective, or the author of several award-winning books including Hope Prevails, Breaking Anxiety’s Grip, and The Hem of His Garment. Her newest release is Sacred Scars: Resting in God’s Promise That Your Past is Not Wasted. She loves all things teal, spending time with friends and family, taking long walks, or sitting by quiet shores, and it’s a bonus when any of those are accompanied by sea salt caramel chocolate! You can find her and her hope-filled resources at DrMichelleB.com

Thank you, Michelle!


Comments 19

  1. Physically I’ve heard that scars are simply tattoos with better stories. With two knee replacements, one hip replacement and recently a total shoulder replacement, there are not many places on my body that are not scared. But I know we can harbor emotional scars as well. Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. Thank you for letting me vent.

    1. Gail, the scars we carry, the physical and emotional pain we’ve experienced will one day vanish with a single Word from Jesus. Oh for that day! Until then, we serve a mighty God.

  2. Thanks Diane. This is a post I need, especially as I am experiencing the pain of disappointment. It is
    more than a comfort to know that God understands, cares, and, can renew my hope. Last week, at a
    conference for seniors, the speaker reminded us that we are yoked together with Jesus, so can face anything. Your post affirmed what I learned, and must now put into pracitce.

    1. Frances, we have so much to learn from each other as we journey to our heavenly home. No matter if we have understanding and loving friends or we are facing hardship alone, Jesus is with us. What a comfort.

    2. Frances,
      I’m so grateful that this post confirmed what you had learned. I just love it when God does that. I’m also so grateful that He never intended us to do this life alone, without Him or without each other. The comfort of others often feels like Jesus with flesh on and can get us through some very tragic times. My you experience that in your disappointment.
      Because of Him, Hope Prevails!

  3. Thanks for sharing this important message, Michelle. We do suffer pain in this life. Our key is to know the right way to heal and the right One to go to. He suffered too and can identify with us.

    1. Thank you Barbara! When we experience pain and suffering, we all have a choice whether to lean into and onto God or to walk away. Only one choice brings the healing we long for. I’m so grateful that He suffered for us, and that gives Him true compassion in our times of suffering!
      Because of Him, Hope Prevails!

  4. Psalm136:1 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. 2 O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.Psalm 136:1

  5. Dr. Michelle,
    Thank you for such hope and encouragement!

    There are many stories, many instances, and many verses in Gods word encouraging believers to entrust and give their burdens to the Lord for He is faithful. He will take what was thought to be dead or sequestered into a closet of skeletons and bring the hope of transformation. Renewal is never an overnight process, but as the Potter begins to mold, reshape, chisel, sandblast, and elevate the details of our lives, we can trust that He always knows what is best so we live victoriously.

    1. Dawn, living victoriously in Jesus means total trust, total dependence, total surrender, and love that knows no end. We struggle and we fail. God picks us up, dusts us off, and sends us out into the world again. What a mighty God we serve.

    2. Dawn,
      I’m beyond grateful that God saw to it to give us many examples in the Bible of imperfect people who reflect a story of God’s transformative power in their lives. It gives me such hope. But I’m also thankful that God doesn’t pry our hands and our hearts open, but waits for us to surrender to his healing touch. When we submit to Him, beautiful things happen!
      Because of Him, Hope Prevails!

  6. What a timely post! It seems that everyone is going through really tough times right now (myself included). We’ll keep our scars, and it’s comforting to know that even Jesus did, too. But hallelujah that the purpose God has them serve is greater than the wounds that caused those scars.

    1. Lana, thank you for the reminder that we retain our scars and so did Jesus. I think scars show our strength and a model for others to see what true faith is all about.

    2. Lana,
      When God showed me that Jesus kept His scars in His resurrected body, I received such a life changing revelation. I’m so grateful that He binds up our wounds, and in His loving hands He fashions beautiful sacred scars that attest to His goodness, faithfulness, and great love for us. Our scars attest to the fact that in Him, we are stronger than that which tried to hurt us!
      Because of Him, Hope Prevails!

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