My first few practices were something of a disaster. Not only could I not complete the seemingly-easy drills which they took for granted, but I would go home every night in agonizing pain, wondering how in the world I could ever have been so foolish as to think myself able to keep up with guys who were running six-minute miles. Nevertheless, I kept showing up. As I continued coming to practice each afternoon and slaying myself with sprint drills, the faster guys started to come alongside me with words of encouragement. Eventually, my times got gradually quicker. I went from 1:30 on my quarter mile laps to 1:25, then eventually down to 1:20, and so on. At my peak, I was running about a seven-minute mile.
God’s word has similar things to say about pain. Not only are you supposed to not give up when you feel it, but God actually encourages us to welcome the pain, knowing that it will produce a better life for you when you come out on the other side of it. The apostle Paul had similar things to say in his letters, which incidentally you would do well to remember were written from inside a dank prison cell:
"…we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 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."
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
“Therefore be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
-1 Corinthians 15:58
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness,which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing."
-2 Timothy 4:7
God loves you just the way you are, but he also loves you too much to leave you the way you are. Don’t hide from your difficulty, welcome it. Self-improving pain is the best kind of pain in the world.
-C. S. Lewis