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How to Find Biblical Joy When You Are Experiencing Sickness or Pain

Gina Smith

ginalsmith.com
Published Apr 05, 2023
How to Find Biblical Joy When You Are Experiencing Sickness or Pain

It's humbling to be weak physically, to be seen as weak, and to be seen as someone who needs help. Being in this position has exposed things in my heart that I didn't realize had somewhat of a stronghold on me. I don't like to be seen as weak or needy. I want to feel strong and independent. God has his ways of using our physical weakness to show us how weak we really are in every way and how much we need Him. 

I venture to say that the greatest earthly blessing that God can give to any of us is health, with the exception of sickness. Sickness has frequently been of more use to the saints of God than health has.

- Charles Spurgeon

For the past two months, I have been experiencing pain that will not go away. Although it has decreased, I have awakened every morning and been greeted with pain. The doctor knows what is causing it, says it is treatable, and that it just takes time for it to go away, but this is the longest I have ever experienced a physical ailment and the longest it has taken to recover. Then, this morning, I experienced yet another injury that has made it very difficult to walk. All of this combined has caused me to be physically and emotionally very tired. I long to feel better, to walk without pain, and to be able to move on from this season of physical pain. 

Even though this has been very difficult, I am thankful that it has revealed some things that I need to change so that my body will become stronger and so that, hopefully, I won't have this problem again. I am thankful for what I'm learning about my body and that it has been a gauge, telling me what I need to do as I move forward. I want to work hard to strengthen weak areas. I am also thankful for how God has sustained me and enabled me to do what I need to each day, despite the pain. 

It's humbling to be weak physically, to be seen as weak, and to be seen as someone who needs help. Being in this position has exposed things in my heart that I didn't realize had somewhat of a stronghold on me. I don't like to be seen as weak or needy. I want to feel strong and independent. God has his ways of using our physical weakness to show us how weak we really are in every way and how much we need Him. 

Verses to Help You When You Are Experiencing Sickness or Pain

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/gorodenkoff

Psalms 73:26"My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever."

It's easy to think that we might be the one who won't have to experience serious sickness or physical pain, but if God allows you to live long enough, you will inevitably experience something that will show you that you are not guaranteed good health or a pain-free life. Making it a habit of practicing the reliance on the One who is "the strength of my heart" is invaluable. It is what will sustain you in your times of physical weakness. 

Romans 5:3-5 "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."

There is something to be gained in all of our life circumstances. God uses it all, even our suffering, to help us learn to persevere in our faith, to produce godly character, and to cause us to hope in the "unseen things" that He promises to those who are. His children. 

Isaiah 41:10 "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

We are promised that God will strengthen us and help us in our times of weakness. He is our stability and our strength. We have nothing to fear. He promises that he will uphold you with his righteous right hand. 

What Good Comes When You Are Experiencing Sickness or Pain? 

-When you experience sickness or pain, those around you are given an opportunity to serve you, putting you in the very humbling position of needing to be served. This is a gift because it allows the body of Christ to live the way they are called to live by caring for one who is weak or suffering. 

-Experiencing sickness or pain gives you an opportunity to draw closer to God and learn how to rely on him for healing, strength, and peace. 

-Experiencing sickness & pain slows you down so that you have more time to focus on God, how He is trying to speak into your life, and what He wants to do in you. It can be a season that causes an amazing amount of growth as you cry out to God and learn to further rely on him.

-Experiencing sickness and pain can allow you the valuable opportunity to see God provide for your needs, whether practical, physical, or spiritual, as you pray, "Father, lead me to the right source for help." 

Find Biblical Joy in Sickness By Focusing on God

Thank Him For Who He Is: 

Father, thank you for being Yahweh Rapha, "The Lord Who Heals." You are the One who can heal my body by preserving it and curing the pain and sickness that I am experiencing, and You are the One who heals my soul by forgiving me of all of my sin. Thank you for all I have been given and all that is available to me as your child. 

Thank Him For His Faithfulness: Father, thank you for being the God of my circumstances and for being faithful to enable me to walk through each day you have given me. You are faithful in my sickness, and you are faithful in my health. When I reflect on the past, I am reminded of all the ways you have been faithful. This encourages me and gives me hope that you will be faithful in the future. 

Thank Him for His Promises: Father, thank you for all of your promises that tell me that you are with me always, that you will never leave me or forsake me, and that you will help and strengthen me. I cannot make it through this life, or this pain, without you and the unmatched hope and help that is found in you. 

Thank Him For His Provisions: Thank you for providing so many precious people who are your beloved children and care for me. You have used them in mighty ways, and I am so grateful. Thank you for the doctors who do their best to diagnose and treat whatever is wrong with me, and for the medicine that helps cure and ease pain. Thank you for the gift of sleep, the forced, slow, and restful days that characterize my life right now, and the opportunity to slow down, be in the quiet, and draw closer to you.

This article is part of a series by Gina Smith on biblical joy. Here are more of her articles:

How to Find Biblical Joy When You Battle Depression

Finding Biblical Joy in Loneliness

How to Find Biblical Joy When Life Doesn’t Look the Way You Thought it Would

Related41 Powerful Prayers for Personal Healing

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Dragana991

Gina Smith is a writer and author. She has been married for 35 years to Brian, a college professor and athletic trainer. For 25+ years, she and her husband served on a Christian college campus as the on-campus parents, where Brian was a professor and dean of students. They reside right outside of Washington, DC, and are the parents of two grown children, one daughter-in-law, one son-in-law, and one granddaughter. She recently authored her first traditionally published book, Everyday Prayers for Joy, which is available everywhere books are sold. You can find Gina at the following: Website: ginalsmith.com, Instagram, and at Million Praying Moms, where she is a writer.