I have had the pleasure of ministering to many women who have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Their numbers are increasing dramatically as the years go by. A little more than five years ago such a diagnosis was rare and many who were given this diagnosis were considered to be mentally unstable. This is because it is a catch-all diagnosis given when no medical reason exists for the muscle and connective tissue pain a person experiences in varying intensities. A person is diagnosed with Fibro when all the blood tests come back in the normal ranges and no other reason for the pain can be found medically.

An overwhelming majority of the people diagnosed with Fibro live their lives ruled by the pain they experience. Overcomers are few and far between, and even Christians tend to be defeated by this malady. That does not have to describe you.

First, the hard truths. There is benefit in pain, even the chronic gnawing pain you may suffer with. There is also benefit in pain relief- more than just in the physical and emotional realm. Both of these truths are possible for the believer in Christ Jesus, and impossible for those who are unregenerate.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 (NASB)

If you have your Bible handy, take a look at the verses that precede the one I cited for you. The context is one of suffering and Paul outlines for us how the whole creation is groaning in misery as it waits to be fully adopted when the times reach their fulfillment. Everything in this world is yearning to be set free from the bondage of suffering.

Our suffering is participation in the sufferings of Christ Jesus. 

that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; Philippians 3:10 (NASB)

Part of our identity in Christ is suffering, but it is not our entire identity. The problem with chronic pain is that we tend to allow it to define us. It, rather than Christ, becomes the ruler of our lives. Pain, rather then the Scriptures consumes our thoughts, and Self rather than Christ becomes our god. Pain is not who you are, who you are is a child of the King.

The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. Romans 8:16-17 (NASB)

The reality of the situation is that our sufferings confirm that we do belong to Christ! God has not forgotten you in your pain but He does use the pain of Fibromyalgia in your life and as you grow and change into Christ-likeness there is benefit in your life and the lives of others around you.

This pain has a purpose. God is working in an intentional way in you and through you. He is putting His power on display in your life as you learn to deal biblically with pain and most importantly, He is using you to bring glory to Himself.

Continued tomorrow.