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Living with Pain

Living with Pain

    When there are those in pain around us, we feel helpless.  We may stand beside them, hug them, tell them that we love them as we observe their tears, listen to their cries and realize that there is a huge gulf between us.  It seems that we cannot penetrate their suffering, but to watch.  We feel weak.  Sometimes in these situations, there is even unexpected anger against God.  Some even ask, “God, why us?” as we see the beauty of our loved ones go through the shadow of death (Psa. 23:4).
    There are some who believe that when this happens, that God is displeased with our life.  Faith healers believe we don’t have enough faith.  Others claim that it is God’s will to make us suffer like this.  In all these words, many have little advice to give people.  Why do people have to suffer?  Where is God when it hurts?
    For those who have not suffered with the loss of a loved one, they have an inadequate view of suffering.  People speak and ask how can a God say He loves us and then allow His people to die from a holocaust, from diseases like leukemia, cancer and allow over a billion people each night to go to bed hungry with no food.  What does it all mean?  I think it is interesting that we do not gather around and discuss what it means to smell or what it mean to taste.  Why do we have these sensations?  No one debates these ideas, but people react so differently against the sensations of pain when it happens.
    The problems of pain and suffering seems to never fade away, never seems to really be answered.  The problem of pain is like a big mystery.  Nevertheless, pain certainly alerts our body that something is wrong and we focus on that area.  Pain certainly is not an afterthought from God, it is part of His marvelous design for the body.  Even though things happen through life, the pain we feel, makes our lives miserable.
    Pain will have no real solution while on earth.  But, we can sustain ourselves by faith in God and faith in His Son who is the great Physician (Gal. 2:20).  He has the ability to remove our pain.  God knows why we hurt and when we think on God, our pain can melt away (Job 38-41).  To know that God gives us joy and love, happiness and goodness (Gal. 5:22).  To know that in the middle of our confusion and frustrations of life, we find our Lord who is worthy of our trust (Rev. 4:11).  We need to know in times like this that God has been here from the beginning (Gen. 1:1; Rev. 1:8) and He allows pain so that we will turn to Him focusing on a time when there will be no more pain.  He allows us to cry like Job (Job 14) knowing that God comforts the poor and suffering, that He nourishes our souls and that when we are hurting, crying out, we may go to Him, casting our cares on Him (1 Pet. 5:7), having an intimate relationship with Him (Jn. 17:20-22).  He is always with us and so are the members of the Lord’s body who are commanded to bear up those who hurt to relieve them in their suffering (Gal. 6:2; 1 Thess. 5:11).
    Be comforted to know that God is waiting for you and I, knowing that one day there will be victory over the world where God will take us with Him to a new home where He will wipe away our tears and where there will be no more pain (Rev. 21:1-4).  Death is swallowed up in victory and our faith overcomes the world (1 Cor. 15:54; 1 Jn. 5:4).  Remember that Jesus said, "Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.  In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also." (Jn. 14:1-3).  Comfort one another with these words as we live through the pains in life.

Robert Notgrass
 

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