Have you ever been grateful for a hard time after you’ve gone through it? Is there a moment you can look back and see growth and change that happened because of pain? Have you realized there are reasons to be thankful for pain?

In this Thanksgiving season, I challenge you to look at struggles in a whole new way…with gratitude!!

This may seem paradoxical, but step back and think about it. Most of us have had experiences of reflecting on hard seasons and being thankful that they’re over and for all they taught us. So if you will likely reflect and be thankful afterwards, why not move the timeline up and look for how you can be thankful for pain in the midst of it?

Sure we don’t “invite” or wish for struggles. But painful moments are unavoidable in life. How you look at hard times will make a difference in how you cope with them.

Here are 4 reasons to be thankful for pain:

There is gain

We’ve all heard the phrase- “No pain, No gain”. This is true! Making changes and growth spurts are rarely out of a happy and easy time. It happens because of the pain! So you can be thankful for pain because you know that the other side holds some good insight and perspective to make future changes.

There is hope

God doesn’t waste suffering. His Word says He will use it for our good and for His glory. We will rarely have a glimpse into the ‘good’ that God intends from our pain until afterwards. But next time you are in a difficult season, you can cling to the hope that He is at work, and it will be good for you in the long run. Remember our definition of good and God’s definition of good may look different.

There is change

Some people reject change, while others embrace it. Change can be scary because it’s unknown. I want you to think about the beautiful changes you’ve experienced around you. Maybe it’s in your own life, or the life of someone you love. Maybe it’s an inspiring story you’ve heard. It could even be the change of the leaves this time of year or the beautiful transformation of a butterfly. We should be thankful for pain because we know there is potential for a beautiful change because of it.

There is salvation

I Peter 1 talks about how trials will test our faith and bring us to a greater understanding of our need for Jesus Christ and the hope of salvation through Him. This is a major reason to be thankful for pain. Our struggles remind us of the hope we have that our worldly pain will end someday when we get to Heaven. Our pain gets us re-focused on our need to be God reliant.

When people read the verse, James 1:2 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,” They often get confused about how and why they would have JOY during a trial. But as you can see from these 4 reasons, there can be joy in what a trial may bring!

Is it hard for you to see the reasons to be thankful for pain?