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The Purpose of Pain

by Robert Driskell  
3/08/2011 / Christian Apologetics

Pain is all around us. Everyone experiences it and very few like it. Whether it is physical pain or emotional pain; it still hurts. We do not want pain. If we could eradicate it from our existence, we would.

But would that be a good thing? What is the purpose of pain?

Pain is an indicator that something is wrong. It is a warning. For example; if you put your hand on a hot stove top, the pain tells you that you will sustain damage to your hand if you don't move it from there quickly. If not for the pain associated with certain actions, we would continue to engage in those actions until we destroyed ourselves.

What is true of the physical world, in this sense, is true of the moral world.

Many times the pain and heartache we experience in life tells us that we are engaging in actions that are damaging to us. We are being warned that, if we continue living like we are living, there is a good probability that we will end up destroying ourselves.

The Bible says that God is love (I John 4:8). However; He would not be considered very loving if He allowed us to live our lives in destructive ways without experiencing the consequences which tell us we are on the wrong path. It would be similar to knowing your friend is about to walk off a cliff, and fall to his death, but never warning him of the danger. That is not loving.

Pain is the felt effect of evil in our world. Evil is not some dark force floating around pouncing on people. It is the willful rejection of God in our lives. Pain is the consequence of people ignoring, disobeying, and rebelling against the will of their Creator.

Physical or emotional pain makes us aware of our condition. If we could reject God and not feel the effects of our disobedience, there would be less chance that we would ever want to change.

So, although uncomfortable, pain is a safeguard. It warns us that something is not right. Something needs to change. As it applies to our non-physical existence, it tells us that there is something fundamentally wrong with our inward condition. It reminds us that the human heart is in rebellion towards God (Matthew 15:18-20).

Pain is a loving reminder that we are living out of the will of God.

Seeking to introduce people to Jesus Christ and to help them become "transformed by the renewing of their mind."

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