A. W. Tozer once said, “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until he has hurt him deeply.” Tozer wrote those words in a previous generation of Christianity. He did not intend to imply that God wishes to cause pain in the lives of his children, rather, that God has determined to use the pain that will inevitably find us for our good.

And here’s the truth… Most people who have been used greatly by God have also been greatly wounded. They’ve walked through pain. They bear some scars and they’ve carried crosses.

God shapes us through pain. He cleanses us through it, as well. He sharpens our spiritual senses, detaches us from all that is temporary and fleeting, and gives us glimpses into the majesty of King Jesus when we hurt.

Paul said of his own experience,

Quite frankly, I don’t want to be bothered anymore by these disputes. I have far more important things to do—the serious living of this faith. I bear in my body scars from my service to Jesus.

Galatians 6:17 MSG

Pain puts life in perspective. Want to rise above pettiness? Walk through pain. Want to barely flinch in the face of little problems? Go through some big ones.

The truth is, you’ll never become all that God has in mind for you to become unless you walk through fire.

The big question is, do you want God’s very best blessings poured out into your life badly enough to walk through the fire?

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