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Pain! Why does God allow His children to suffer pain?
Some Bible teachers say pain is the result of sin in your life or a lack of faith. Some have even referred to Job as an example of one who lacked faith and suffered for it.
Still other Bible scholars will teach God puts pain on people to discipline them or to teach them a lesson.
Both of these teachings seem contrary to what the Lord Jesus said to Ananias about Saul of Tarsus.
“Go,” He told Ananias, “for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake” (Acts 9:15-16 NKJV).
Pain and suffering were going to be part of this man’s life would become the Apostle Paul.
Indeed, it was.
He wrote to the believers in Corinth, “I will not boast, except in my infirmities” (physical weakness, sickness). He suffered hunger, beatings, being stoned with rocks, and shipwrecks. “And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NKJV).
God spoke to the Children of Israel, “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you… And the Lord will take away from you all sickness and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of Egypt which you have known but will lay them on all those who hate you” (Exodus 15:26, Deuteronomy 7:17 NKJV).
Does God Allow His Children to Suffer Pain?
God does not put sickness, disease, or pain upon His children.
He made it very clear, that level of judgment and discipline is reserved for those who are not born again into His family.
He also made it clear, He will give His sons and daughter grace to deal with the pain and suffering that are part of the human experience.
Why do God’s children suffer pain?
I have lived with a good measure of pain for several years.
- Multiple heart attacks
- A blood clot in the lungs on two occasions
- Several ruptured disks in my back have taken their toll on my body and kept me awake sitting in my lazy boy chair.
I have also experienced miracles.
A scheduled surgery to repair the radial bones in my left eye was cancelled after the elders of the church I was pastoring came to my hospital room and prayed for me.
X-rays the next morning revealed the bones were completely healed.
I was diagnosed, at age twenty-one, to be an invalid by the time I was thirty, after seeing eleven specialists in four years.
An incurable disease was spreading through my body.
Ten months later, a follow-up appointment with one the specialist revealed I had been completely healed. The specialist declared it to be a miracle.
An evangelist at our home church had prayed for me on a Sunday night, just a few days before the appointment.
The problem for many believers is, unlike the Apostle Paul, they have not learned to eudokeo in their pain and suffering.
The Apostle made an amazing declaration!
“Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
How is that even possible?
It’s not possible in our natural human strength. It is only possible through God’s amazing grace in your life.
We live in a fallen world where pain and suffering are part of that existence. When God redeems us, He does not redeemed us OUT of the world but IN the world.
Jesus prayed in John 17:15-17, “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (NKJV).
The day is coming when our redemption will reach its full expression and our human body will be redeemed OUT of this world.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).
Between now and then God has promised IN this world, “All things work together for good to those who love God, and to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28).
Pain and suffering are not punishment from God!
Rather, God has promised even the pain will bring good if we allow it to deepen our love for Him each day and if we seek to live out His calling and purpose through the pain.
“Therefore, most gladly,” wrote Apostle Paul, “I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
The Apostles learned to do this very well, so can we.
4 Ways to Learn to Take Pleasure in Pain
1. Refuse to let pain dictate your day; your attitude; or your behavior.
2. Learn the power of choosing joy and choosing to praise, in the midst of your pain.
3. When pain is flooding your body and your emotions, it seeks to control your thoughts, attitude and tongue.
4. God’s grace and power of the Holy Spirit will enable you to choose thankful thoughts, positive attitude, an praise-filled tongue rather than allowing pain and suffering to suppress your spirit.
Pain has taught me more about walking in the Spirit and living out of the dynamic and power of Holy Spirit than any other single thing.
I choose to live joyful, loving, gracious, and to accomplish God’s tasks for that day with a good attitude and spirit, even though I am in pain.
I learn more about Jesus heart, filling up the sufferings of Christ, suffering as He suffered pain, but He did that out of a love motivation.
I learn to live out of a love motivation even though in pain.
Father has come to me and showed me His love in my most painful moments.
The times when the pain was so severe, I could not stand it another moment, He came to me and wrapped me in His love, sustaining me.
I have discovered depths of love I would never have known any other way.
Pain is anything but pleasant.
There is coming a day when Father will remove all pain. He has promised and He cannot and will not lie!
Between right now and that day of final redemption, when all pain is removed, He wants to take our pain and make it an instrument to take us deeper into His heart of love and deeper into His calling and purpose for our life.
When we choose to do that, three things are accomplished.
1. We don’t waste our experience, but we grow through it.
2. We nullify the enemy’s attack and defeat his objectives.
3. We reflect to a fallen world the authentic love and compassion of Almighty God.
These are the lessons I’ve learned in my pain. I hope they help you, as well.
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