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Daily Boost

  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

February 8, 2012 - The Purpose of Pain

By Kristen Feola

“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:8, NLT).

I struggle with chronic back pain, which often prevents me from being able to exercise like I want. Having been an athlete and personal trainer, I’ve always enjoyed working out. However, in the past several years, I’ve been able to do less and less.

One morning when I was feeling frustrated about my condition, I opened up God’s Word for encouragement. According to my “Read Through the Bible in a Year” calendar, I was supposed to read Jeremiah 41-45. Even though I’d gotten off track and actually read that passage the day before, I decided to read it again. I had a feeling God had something new to show me. I was right.

In chapter 45, the prophet Jeremiah is speaking to Baruch, a scribe whose job was to record Jeremiah’s words on a scroll. For whatever reason, Baruch is upset. We know this because says Baruch cried, “Woe to me! The Lord has added sorrow to my pain; I am worn out with groaning and find no rest” (v. 3, NIV).

Jeremiah then goes on to deliver two prophecies regarding the future of the Israelites. Sandwiched between these statements are a question and command that got my attention. Jeremiah asks Baruch, “Should you then seek great things for yourself? Seek them not” (45:5).

I knew God was speaking to me. However, I didn’t completely understand the meaning of the passage, so I checked my Bible’s commentary for insight:

“God told Baruch to take his eyes off himself and whatever rewards he thought he deserved. The more we look away from God’s purposes toward our own sacrifices, the more frustrated we will become. As you serve God, beware of focusing on what you are giving up. When this happens, ask God’s forgiveness; then look at Him rather than at yourself.”

I believe God is once again asking me to sacrifice something temporal (physical training) for something eternal (spiritual growth). So what if I can’t run 5Ks and bike 50 miles anymore? It’s not the end of the world. In fact, it’s not the end of anything at all. This affliction sets the stage for a new work God wants to do in me. I’m excited to see what He’s going to do!

What sacrifice does God want you to make? Be willing to give up something good for something better. It’s always worth it.

“Lord, forgive me for focusing on myself. I choose today to set my mind and heart on You. Help me to grow in godliness so that Your purposes may be accomplished in my life.”

— Kristen Feola is the author of the book The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast. She and her family attend James River Assembly in Ozark, Mo. Kristen blogs at




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