The problem of pain - Hope 103.2

The problem of pain

By David ReayMonday 13 Feb 2017LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Jeremiah 15:18

18         Why is my pain unending
               and my wound grievous and incurable?
            You are to me like a deceptive brook,
               like a spring that fails. (NIV)

No-one in their right mind likes pain. Most of us experience pain at times. Some live with chronic pain. So what is our response to it, apart from the normal medicinal treatments?

There are no easy answers that will make the pain go away. We can make it a bit easier for ourselves if we avoid common mistaken responses. One such mistake is the ‘stiff upper lip’ attitude. We don’t let anyone know about it and suffer in silence. This is to ignore the help others can provide.

Another unhelpful response is to be fixated on it. Chronic pain does overwhelm us but even then, we can refuse to be defined by the pain. While talking too little about it might be a problem, so can talking too much about it.

Some Christians feel that their pain is a punishment from God. So they simply accept it as just punishment or frantically scrabble around for some sort of repentance which will make the pain go away. But most of our pain is not in that category. God is not our adversary, despite the feelings of those like Jeremiah who was enduring a different sort of pain.

We allow others to help us with the burden of pain. We admit it and face it but seek not to have it be the whole story of our life. We bring it to a God who knows all about pain. We realise that pain is not some punishment but part of living in this out-of-shape world in mortal bodies.

Those who suffer pain are not somehow isolated specimens of humanity but are normal people in an abnormal world.

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David Reay