What does it mean to know God and to be changed by him? The work of God in the heart of his child is a very real experience. It is like open-heart surgery without an anesthetic — it can be felt, it is often very painful, but it is also for my good. I don’t just believe it. I know it.

“I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.”
Lamentations 3

“I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi (‘my delight’), seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?”
Ruth 1

“I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
Psalm 34

“The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”
Zephaniah 3

Emotional pain is destructive for the spiritually dead; but for the child of God it is a sign of life. Our first instincts are to forget, to erase the memories of pain and the memories that led up to pain. But the child of God knows that all things come from God’s hand, for our good, and find that God gives the power not only to endure, but to rejoice.

Look upon Jesus,
the one who started
and will complete
our faith;
who, because of the joy that was set before him
endured rejection and death at their hands,
looking past the pain of shame
and is now at the right hand of the throne of God.

Think about Him
Who endured your rejection
And loves you still
And you will be able to bear it.
Hebrews 11

Everything he writes is for my good.