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Why Pain?

by Mark Nickles  
1/13/2020 / Christian Living

            Pain is a part of life. Whether physical pain or emotional pain, we all experience our share. And, while medical science produces more and more so-called “solutions” to various types of pain, and people grow increasingly desperate to alleviate it, we seem to forget that pain can be necessary, and even beneficial.

            Pain is actually necessary in teaching us what is to be avoided. As the child who reaches for the hot stove experiences the pain of a burn and learns to stay clear, the person who experiences the pain of betrayal learns that faithfulness and fidelity foster feelings of security rather than promoting suffering.

            Pain and suffering, while not actually desired by any of us, can even lead us to experience and know God in a deeper, more advantageous way. The Bible is very honest about pain as a fact of life. The book of Job presents the plight of a man who was righteous, and yet suffered greatly. The end of that book saw the most important development was not the physical blessings which were returned to Job, but the greater knowledge of God he gained as a result of the experience.

            In speaking of the righteous person, Psalm 41:3 says, “The LORD sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to full health.” The word for “sustains” means to comfort and/or strengthen. We can actually learn about God’s loving care for us in suffering.

            Romans 5:3-5 state that the follower of Christ can actually “rejoice” at the results of remaining faithful to God during suffering, because through it, He produces “endurance”, “character” and “hope”.

            Obviously, none of this means that God expects us to be thrilled at the prospect of suffering. However, pain is a fact of life which can actually turn us toward God, and deepen our knowledge of Him. I can point to painful times in my life which produced greater blessings from God. I don’t always understand it all, but I cannot deny the reality of it.

            How can you know the reality of everything which comes into your life, including pain, working together for your good? Give your life to the one who died for your sins, and waits to give you a NEW life. That person is Jesus Christ.

Mark Nickles is a husband, father of three, and a pastor in Northeastern Oklahoma. Copyright, Mark A. Nickles.

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