P u r p o s e  In  P a I n


John and Claudia Claxton entered into pain just a few scant months after their marriage They were both in their early twenties. Claudia contracted Hodgkin's Disease, cancer of the lymph glands, and was given a fifty per cent chance to live. Surgeons quickly removed every trace of the disease. Claudia was quickly led into a treatment of cobalt. The radiation ravaged her youthful body. Her skin turned dark. Her beauty fled away. Her hair fell out. Her throat was continual swollen and raw. She regurgitated nearly ev­erything she ate. Each day of the radiation aged her body by months!

Then came the stream of Christian visitors to comfort and console her:

1) A DEACON from her church solemnly told her to reflect on what God was rying to teach her. "There must be something in your life which is displeasing to God!" The deacon continued, “You must have step­ped out of God's will somewhere! These things don't just happen!  What is God telling you?"

2) NEXT Came a scatter brained, plump widow who must have thought of herself as a professional cheerleader to the sick. She brought flowers, sang hymns, and quoted happy Psalms about running brooks and mountains clapping their hands.

Whenever Claudia tried to talk about her illness, this lady quickly changed the subject. Her approach was to drive out the pain with her cheer and good will. BUT after she left, the flowers faded, the hymns became muted, and Claudia re­mained alone to face another day of pain!

3) ANOTHER lady dropped by who had faithful watched Oral Roberts, Katherine Kuhlman, and "the 700 Club" over the years. She told Claudia that healing was the only escape.

"Sickness is never God's will," she in­sisted.

"The Bible says as much. The devil is at work, and God will wait until you can muster up enough faith to believe that you'll be healed. Remember, Claudia, faith can move mountains, and that includes Hodgkin's Disease! Truly believe that you'll be healed, and God will an­swer your prayers!"

The next morning as Claudia lay naked on the chill steel of the sterile cobalt treatment room, she tried to "muster up" faith. She had faith enough to believe God was able to heal her. But she didn't know how to convince God that her faith was genuine and strong. She found that faith wasn't like a muscle which could be enlarged thru exercise, faith to Claudia was slippery, theoretical, hard to deal with. The whole notion of mustering up faith seemed awfully exhausting to her, and she never could decide how to go about it!

4) THE MOST SPIRITUAL LADY in Claudia's church came and read books to her about Praising God for everything. "Claudia, you just need to come to the place where you can say, 'God, I LOVE you for me hurt like this. It is your will!

I KNOW this pain is the best for me! And I just praise you for loving me enough to allow me to experience this pain! In all things, including this, I give thanks!”

As she pondered this Claudia's mind filled with gruesome pictures of God. She imag­ined a figure the shape of a troll, big as the universe, who delighted in squeezing helpless humans between His finger nails pulverizing them with His fists, dashing them against sharp stones. The figure would keep torturing the humans until the cried out, "God, I love you for doing this to me!" The idea repulsed Claudia. She could not worship nor love such a God!

5) Yet another visitor, her pastor made her feel she was on a select mission. He told her, "Claudia, you can participate in Christ's sufferings! You have been appointed to suffer for Him, and He will reward you. God chose you because of your great strength and integrity. God is using you as an example. You will lead others to a deeper faith!

Sometimes the idea of being a privileged martyr appealed to Claudia...other times when the ravages of pain were upon her she would call out, "God! Why Me?

There are millions of others, stronger than I——couldn't you choose one of



That was Claudia’s problem!

Pain is your problem and my problem as long as we walk upon this earth.

Here’s the question, “Is there any purpose in Pain?


Years ago I listened to a lecture by Dr. Sam, a psychiatrist from Youngstown. He related that man's sole lot and purpose in life is to

Maximize pleasure and to minimize pain.

We live in a pain avoidant culture. We are to avoid pain at all costs.


A number of years ago I interviewed a drug abuse counselor. She related that many drug abusers adopt a drug habit to eliminate pain. They attempt to create a pain-free existence. That drug-induced freedom from pain is illusory and ends up causing us more pain in the long run.

The drug abuse counselor’s remarks are still ringing in my ears: "Pastor, we human beings NEED to experience pain. There is a Purpose in Pain.”



Martha Snell Nicholson


Pain knocked upon my door and said

       That she had come to stay,

And though I would not welcome her

       But bade her go away,

       She entered in,

       Like my old shade,

She followed after me,

And from her stabbing, stinging sword

       No moment was I free!

Then one day another knocked

most gently at my door.

I cried, “No! Pain is living here

       There is not room for more!”

And then I heard His tender voice,

       “’Tis I, be not afraid.”

And from the day He entered in,

       What a difference it made!

October 6, 2007

Sheepfold Ministries, pastor Phil Roland


P u r p o s e  In  P a I n

Romans 5:1-11

"God does not abandon us in the midst of our pain and suffering. He will accomplish His Will through and in spite of our reactions.”                     Pastor Phil 

“And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His Love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us."            Romans 5:5


FIVE REACTIONS as pain enters our lives:

1) You have sinned. God is teaching you by punishing you for past sins.

2) Just ignore and deny the pain, it will go away.

3) Get enough faith, and God will heal you.  It's up to you.

4) Thank God for the pain.  It is God's Will for you.

5) You have been chosen to share in Christ's sufferings.  You will lead others to deeper faith in God.


The Big view of Romans 5:1-11 sees a believer's life in three directions:

I.   P A S T - Verse 1 - "Therefore being justified by faith. . ."

II.  PRESENT V. 1b - "we have peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord."

V. 2 -  ". . .we have access by faith into this grace. . ."

            ". . .and rejoice in hope of the glory of God."

III. FUTURE V. 9 - "Much more then, being justified by His Blood, we shall be  saved from wrath through Him."  V. 10 -". . .we shall be saved by His Life."

GREEK  = cara = CHA-RA = Exalt, Boast, Proud, To be glad, Rejoice



I.   REJOICE IN HOPE - Verse 2 - ". . .rejoice in hope of the glory of God."

            A. We are God's Projects - Phil 1:6

            “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to

completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

            B. Jamestown Settlers in 1607: Hopelessness to Hope

II. REJOICE IN TRIBULATION – V. 3 - "But we glory (REJOICE) in tribulation also. .”

            A. The "Saddle" of pain

            B. Stripped but not empty

III. REJOICE IN GOD - V.11- "But we also JOY in God through our Lord Jesus Christ"

            A. Abandoned to God (Not from)

            B. We count it loss, God counts it valuable


What about YOUR pain?

Are you still trying to manage it all alone?

Are you tired of doing it your way?

What about doing it His Way?


P u r p o s e  In  P a I n, Text:

ROMANS 5:1-11

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

2  through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

3  And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;

4  and perseverance, character; and character, hope.

5  Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

6  For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

7  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.

8  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

9  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

10  For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

11  And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.








One  by one God took them from me,

 All   the   things I valued most,

‘Til I was empty-handed,

Every glittering toy was lost.


And I walked earth’s highways

Grieving in my rags hopelessly,

Until I heard His voice inviting,

Life those empty hands to Me.


I turned my hands toward heaven,

And He filled them with a store

Of His transcendent riches

‘Til they could contain no more!


And at last I comprehended

With my stupid mind and dull,

That God could not pour out His riches

Into hands already full!

Author  Unknown