Can God Teach Us Through Pain? “Pain at the Pump”

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By Brian Goslee

When we go to fill up our cars at the gas pump, sometimes it can be “painful” because of the prices.  Sometimes at charity auctions at golf outings or dinners there is an auction basket with gift cards to gas stations that says, “pain at the pump relief.”  Well the other day, I did not experience pain at the pump, but I did experience joy and relief in pain while at the pump.  Let me explain…

In recent months, the Lord has taught me many things:  how to pray with bold faith, how to pray much more continually, how to seek Him with my whole heart, and how to be immediately obedient and faithful into what He calls me to do.  But I know that next I need to use this growth of my personal faith and share that with others my loving them, serving them, and ministering to them.

Break My Heart for What Breaks Yours

One specific area where I knew I needed growth was in loving and seeing others the way God sees them and to have my heart “broken” for what breaks His.

Why would anyone pray for this? While it is great to develop our own faith and to grow in our relationship with Christ, it is only fully used when we share the fruits of our growth in Christ with others. We are not supposed to just enjoy it for ourselves.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:4 ESV)

For me, when I begin to see people the way that God the Father sees them and to have my heart broken for the same things that break His heart, only then will I truly be able to minister and serve others the way He wants me to.

God started to answer my prayer a couple of months ago, when I was sitting at a table at an amusement park watching hundreds of people walking by.  As I sat there, I realized that only one out of every two people that walked right by me would say they believed in God and maybe called themselves a Christian.  That meant that 50 out of every 100 people going by is destined to eternal separation from a great and loving God.  Not only that, but they are not living and enjoying the fulfilling life God has in store just for them because they do not know Him.  In addition, out of the ones who would say they believe in God and were Christian, how many of them are living with the joy and peace that an active faith brings? This started to really stir my heart. Fast forward a few months…


For many weeks I had been going through a personally discouraging time of what I will call “heartbreak,” due to some things my son was struggling with. I felt for him very strongly because I am his dad, just like God as our heavenly dad feels for us strongly. I love my son and support him, but being that he is eighteen and away at college, I could not do anything to “fix” his thinking or his struggle.  This lasted for several weeks, and it was the only extended period in the last year or so that I recall not “feeling” the consistent joy and peace of God in me (we should not operate in our faith or obedience based on our feelings, but that is a whole other topic).

I had been praying about this discouragement for weeks: “Why am I feeling this way? Where is it coming from? Have I really grown as much as I thought? How do I get out of it?”

I was on my way to an appointment when I pulled into a gas station to fill up.

God’s Revelation

As I was putting gas in the car, out of the blue, God revealed to me that the heaviness and discouragement I felt is how He feels when even one of His sheep is lost, or when we separate ourselves from Him through sin.  In other words, He was saying “You prayed to have your heart broken for what breaks mine, so I did. That heaviness you feel is a part of what I feel when I have a child who is lost or not obeying.”  So, God answered my prayer!  Through my pain, and God revealing Himself, He showed a small piece of how He feels, in love, when we are not walking in His glorious plans for us.

Thanksgiving for Answered Prayer in My Pain

Wow, I immediately thanked God for this revelation.  The lost sheep, the sin of all of us, can cause God to have a heavy heart for us, as He knows the way He wants us to go. But sometimes we are faulty in our thoughts, our approach, and our behavior.  He wants us to come to Him and rely on Him alone, not on ourselves.

Just like I cannot “fix” my adult son, but I can love Him and support him until he is ready; so, can God love His sons and daughters and support them until they are ready to come to Him in full submission and surrender.  How strong must God be to wait patiently and bear the burden of the lost and sinful, when He knows He has such a great plan in store for each one of us.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9 NIV)

While I realized my problems, pain, and the setting of this story aren’t “that bad,” compared to the crisis of cancer, or loss of a loved one, or addictions, I wanted to share how an ordinary circumstance can be used by God in a supernatural way to reveal Himself to us, so that we can grow in our walk with Him and in our service to each other.

In my pain, He answered my prayer.  I have more understanding of God and how He loves each of us.  I have more motivation and understanding to love, serve, and point others to Him.

I encourage you to reach out to God in honest, bold, faith-filled prayer.  You might be pleasantly surprised where and how He answers your prayer!

Something more from Brian: Why Do I Keep Sinning?

Guest Post by Brian Goslee

Brian Goslee, President, Changed Through Faith Ministries

Brian Goslee is an author, speaker, and founder at Changed Through Faith Ministries . Their mission is to help fathers and their families grow closer to God and each other, using relevant faith-infused events and resources. Brian’s life has been radically changed through active faith in Christ and he has a heart for helping others experience this in their lives.  You can contact him at

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