Have you obeyed God only to be rewarded with pain?


Welcome to summer and The Summer Sizzle Series!

Summer Sizzle beach imageTeaming up with some of my very favorite blogging friends, we are offering a series that we are calling, “The Summer Sizzle Series.” 

Each week, I’ll be sharing the best articles from several amazing women that I personally know, pray for, do ministry with, and dearly love.

I believe you are going to be blessed!

Today, you get to read a wonderful word from my friend Marva Smith. This sister lives in the most beautiful part of the world… the Carribean.

She’s a friend, she’s an encourager, and she is a blessing.

Additionally, she has lived through a great deal this past year – two hurricanes, moving and relocating several times, trouble with fires and smoke near her home, and many other incredible challenges.

I love the steadfast faith of this woman!

I believe you will be greatly encouraged as you read today.



This past week was rough.

I’m not sure if you use that expression too, but in the islands, it’s our way of saying that it was a difficult, challenging, maybe even painful week. My week was all of that and then some.

I felt God calling me to do a bold thing. And I did it. At least I made the first step and then the second.

And you know what?

Instead of feeling good and honored and blessed, I got none of that.

Have you obeyed God only to be rewarded with pain? You've done the right thing, the thing God called you to do, and it blew up in your face? Sometimes life is tough and hard to explain. Sometimes things just don't make sense. That's what today's post is all about. #pain #challenges #obedience #trustingGod

Have you obeyed God only to be rewarded with pain?

It just hurt.

It was painful. And if I had to be really honest, I felt like God was torturing me. Yes, I said it.

‘Why God? Why are you making me do this?’

Now, let’s make one thing clear. God is not MAKING me do anything. Yet, in a complete (I use that term very loosely) act of surrender, I have chosen to do the hard thing.

Have you ever obeyed God only to be rewarded with pain? Click To Tweet

When Obedience Begets Pain

“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” 

Matthew 26:39

Have you obeyed God only to be rewarded with pain? You've done the right thing, the thing God called you to do, and it blew up in your face? Sometimes life is tough and hard to explain. Sometimes things just don't make sense. That's what today's post is all about. #pain #challenges #obedience #trustingGod

Every Easter we retell the story of Jesus’ death on the cross. Even if you’re not a Christian, I’m almost certain that you’ve heard the Easter story at least once.

Jesus, the all perfect, never sinning, son of God, was beaten, pinned to a cross and died there for the sins of the world. Three days later God miraculously rose Him from the dead and Jesus went up to heaven to be reunited with His Father. In a nutshell.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

It’s a lovely, inspiring story.

But that’s the nice, neat, air-brushed, Disney version.

The real story, however, is way, way messier.

There are blood and gore, betrayal and angst, devastating pain and downright torture – the kind of movie I won’t allow my children to watch.

Yet the real, painful story is where hope blossoms.

Yet the real, painful story (of Jesus) is where hope blossoms. (Marva Smith) Click To Tweet

Beauty from Ashes

Yes, Jesus’ messy, bloody, and gory story gives me hope.

You see when Jesus CHOSE to obey, it resulted in pain. Lots of pain.

Jesus’s story reminds me that obedience does not necessarily go hand in hand with an easy life. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Jesus's story reminds me that obedience does not necessarily go hand in hand with an easy life. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. (Marva Smith) Click To Tweet

“In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” 

John 16:33

Have you obeyed God only to be rewarded with pain? You've done the right thing, the thing God called you to do, and it blew up in your face? Sometimes life is tough and hard to explain. Sometimes things just don't make sense. That's what today's post is all about. #pain #challenges #obedience #trustingGod

Without knowing it, I think I silently expected that my obedience would result in blessings. A pat on the back.

That’s not too much to ask for doing a hard thing, is it?

I guess I never expected the blessing to hurt.

I know that God is working to make my story beautiful, as He did with Jesus’ story. But, oh how I wish He could just skip to the good part. The part where there’s rejoicing instead of pain. Hope instead of a loss.

But the power of Jesus’s story lies not in the end alone, but in the complete story.

But the power of Jesus’s story lies not in the end alone, but in the complete story. (Marva Smith) Click To Tweet

It is a story of obedience, of overcoming, and of beauty being revealed from the ashes.

To be continued

My story is not over; it is just being told. And the beauty won’t be revealed until the right time.

In the meantime, I need to go through the pain to experience the joy. I need to experience the loss so that I can find the hope. It’s painful and messy but necessary.

So, as I embrace this bold thing, I remember the Cross of Christ: beautiful and messy, painful and bright.

I have a feeling your story is like that too.

That’s why I encourage you to surrender your story to Christ.

That’s why I encourage you to surrender your story to Christ. (Marva Smith) Click To Tweet

Your story doesn’t finish at the pain!

I believe that God is weaving beauty in your story even as you read this.

I pray today that you will find hope in the Cross — in that place where beauty and pain live happily ever after.

And may you find the strength to do that hard thing today.

The blessing might not look like you expect, but it’s all a part of God’s beautiful story for your life. Trust Him to weave it all together perfectly.

The blessing might not look like you expect, but it’s all a part of God’s beautiful story for your life. (Marva Smith) Click To Tweet

Have you obeyed God only to be rewarded with pain? You've done the right thing, the thing God called you to do, and it blew up in your face? Sometimes life is tough and hard to explain. Sometimes things just don't make sense. That's what today's post is all about. #pain #challenges #obedience #trustingGod

What about you?

Have you been called on to do a hard thing lately and expected a blessing for your obedience? What was the result?

Please share the lessons you learned so that we can find some encouragement from your story.

Wishing you blessings!

Marva

Remember - Your story doesn’t finish at the pain! (Marva Smith) Click To Tweet

Marva Smith | SunSparkleShine.com

My sister Marva is an island-living, sun-loving Christian wife and mother. As a business owner, management consultant, trainer and coach, she’s no stranger to busy but chooses the full life Christ offers instead (John 10:10). She finds joy in encouraging women to slow down and shine in the light of God’s goodness.

You can find her writing about her life and faith on her website SunSparkleShine.com as well as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. Get a free copy of her e-book You Were Made to Sparkle here.


Want more on this topic?



Could you use some more Summer Sizzle?

IS IT REALLY OUR CALLING TO BE SUCH JUDGMENTAL PEOPLE?

WHAT CAN YOU DO WHEN GOD FEELS REALLY DISTANT?

10 PROVEN WAYS TO GET TO KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS

HAVE YOU OBEYED GOD ONLY TO BE REWARDED WITH PAIN?

HOW TO SURVIVE (AND THRIVE) AFTER YOUR HEART IS BROKEN

And, HOW TO HANG ON DURING THE MOST DIFFICULT SEASONS OF LIFE

HOW TO ENCOURAGE YOUR DAUGHTER TO CONFIDE IN YOU

7 OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BLOGGERS YOU OUGHT TO BE READING



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About helloredds@gmail.com

Blessed wife of Randy for over 25 years, mom to two great college students, blogger, women's ministry coach, speaker and author who is amazed by God's grace-

21 thoughts on “Have you obeyed God only to be rewarded with pain?

  1. “Your story doesn’t finish with the pain!” Amen and Amen!! Thank you for this, Marva and Melanie! It’s a message I need to remember each and every day! Blessings to you both!

  2. Marva and Melanie! Thank you for this inspiring post–and I’m coming to it IMMEDIATELY after reading from the book of Jeremiah when he shared God’s message with wimpy King Zedekiah and ended up in a cistern for all his trouble! Perfect timing!

  3. Thank you Marva for your beautiful and honest story! It touched me and gives me Hope And encourages me to always choose to obey God. He is writing my story and I know in the end it will be beautiful and bring Him Glory for His purpose for my life. I will praise Him through the pain and always. You have blessed me sweet sister with your words of truth! Blessings to you😊🤗🙏🏻

  4. Well done Marva! Beautifully stated with such honesty. Your story is far from complete, dear friend. God is still at work in you. As you said, that does not mean easy. Trust your life in the hands of the Potter. He wants what is best for you. Always a blessing to read your heart. Have a fantastic week and may God continue to bless as you live for Him.

    I am looking forward to reading your Summer series, ladies. I know you will touch many lives!

    1. Thanks for being such a constant friend and source of encouragement, Horace. As painful as it might be, I’m grateful for the story God has been writing in your life. That new book of yours will have grace and faith written all over it!

      Looking forward to seeing you on your next visit to the #SummerSizzleBlogHop.

  5. Marva! I love this!! It’s absolutely beautiful and honest. We just have to hold on to God’s hand after our obedience TO THE VERY END!!!

  6. Our story doesn’t end in pain but in restoration .Marva , I praise God for you and your beautiful story.

    Blessings my friends , Melanie and Marva ❤️

  7. Thank you so much for this, Marva. Oh how my heart needed this reminder today. I’ve just returned from a run to pour my heart out in prayer. Obedience has brought me more and more pain, this past year and a half especially. And I told God that being a Prodigal had been so much easier – running away from the excruciating pain my obedience as a little girl had brought me.

    I asked Him why following Him hurt so very much. And I asked Him to help me not run away this time, but believe in Him and trust Him in the pain.

    What came to mind was a picture my Catholic nun teacher had drawn as a goodbye present for me when our missionary family returned home after 6 years on the other side of the world. She had drawn a huge hand holding a little sparrow. And I felt God bring to mind each situation I had sat/stood alone, aching and yearning to be held. And I felt Him say: I have always had my hand wrapped around you. Each and every time you were rejected, excluded or shamed. Each time you felt unseen or invisible, I saw, I knew and I cared.

    Thank you for reminding me that this is not the end and that I am not the only one experiencing pain in my obedience to His Word.

    1. Anna, thank you for responding and sharing a bit of your story. I wish that I could say it will get better soon — it might but it might not. What I’m learning in the middle of the mess is that God is always there. I love the image of the hand and the sparrow that you shared. It’s such a powerful reminder of a god who loves us to the very end, in the good and in the bad. He’s a good God who gives us the strength and hope to get through the tough times so we can be a light to others.
      I pray blessings for you as you stay close to Him.

    1. I’m honored to share your space today, Melanie. And thank you for the kind words of introduction, by the way.

      I’m beyond grateful to share my story in hopes that it blesses others.
      Love you, dear friend.

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