Why Doesn’t God Stop My Pain?
No matter how happy we might appear we all experience pain, grief, sadness and tragedy at times. Some people live with high levels of pain daily.
The origins of pain
When God made the heavens and the earth there was no pain or suffering. All He made was very good 1(Genesis 1:31) 31 God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.. God’s intention for us is that we live with Him forever free from pain and suffering experiencing great joy 2(Revelation 21:4) 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; neither will there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain any more. The first things have passed away.”.
The problem began when mankind disobeyed God. Adam and Eve ruled over the earth 3(Genesis 1:26) 26 God said, “Let’s make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the livestock, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” so when they sinned the whole of the earth fell with them. The earth became filled with pain, suffering and death 4(Genesis 2:16, 17) 16 Yahweh God commanded the man, saying, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; 17 but you shall not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die.”.
Why doesn’t God change this?
He is all powerful, totally compassionate and able to do whatever He wants whenever He wants. People therefore struggle with their perception that God is doing nothing about the situation.
On the day that man fell God promised He would remedy the situation 5(Genesis 3:15) 15 I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel.”. The history of the world has been the unfolding of this promise. God sent His own Son to deal with the issue of pain. In order to remove this the underlying cause of sin had to be dealt with.
To free man from pain Jesus had to suffer great pain as He lived upon the earth and then was crucified. He was called a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Rising from the dead He defeated death, pain, sickness and suffering.
3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering and acquainted with disease. He was despised as one from whom men hide their face; and we didn’t respect him. 4 Surely he has borne our sickness and carried our suffering ; (Isaiah 53:3-4)
Why is it taking so long?
In order for there to be a pain free world where there is no death there needs to be a sin free world. This will happen when God creates a new heaven and a new earth where righteousness dwells 6(Revelation 21:1) 1 I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth have passed away, and the sea is no more..
Before God can do this He must judge mankind for the wrongs we have done. No one can survive that judgement because everybody has done wrong.
The good news is that God has made a way for us to find forgiveness from sin which enables us to face the judgement of God and come through unscathed. Those who put their trust in Jesus Christ find forgiveness of sin and an assurance they can stand before God’s judgment.
At this time God wants everybody to find forgiveness through faith in Jesus. He therefore has to give time for people to hear and respond to the good news.
If he stopped all evil now, including the pain in the world, people would not have this chance to find forgiveness and eternal life with God. All those who reject the good news will have to live forever with their sin and the consequences of this which includes pain and suffering. God wants as many people as possible to avoid this.
In other words, pain continues now so that many more may find freedom from pain in the future.
God’s timing is perfect
The whole of creation is groaning and in pain waiting for the day when God completes His work of restoring mankind to himself 7(Romans 8:19-22) 19 For the creation waits with eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of decay into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now..
Paul was a man who experienced great pain and suffering especially as he proclaimed the good news of Jesus Christ. He kept going because he kept remembering what lay ahead. The glory that lies ahead far outweighs the suffering of the present time
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which will be revealed toward us.(Romans 8:18)
God also has promised to use every experience to work good in our lives including the pain 8(Romans 8:28) 28 We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose..
He feels acutely every pain and trial we face and has promised us that He will give us strength to overcome all that comes our way 9(Romans 8:31) 31 What then shall we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?. There is nothing that can separate us from His love 10(Romans 8:35-39) 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Could oppression, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Even as it is written, “For your sake we are killed all day long. We were accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from God’s love which is in Christ Jesus our Lord..
Corrie Ten Boom was a Dutch lady who was thrown into a Nazi concentration camp for helping Jews escape the Holocaust. Her family died in the camp. She survived and used to travel the world telling people about her experiences.
She used to carry a piece of embroidery with her. She would start by showing people the back of the embroidery, it was all tangled and knotted and looked a real mess. When it was turned over it was a beautiful work of art. The lesson she drew from this was that at this time our lives are like the back of the embroidery, there is a jumble of pain and suffering which just seems a complete mess. However, when we go to be with Jesus our lives will be like the front of the embroidery, everything will make sense.
God is using all His wisdom and power to redeem our fallenness. In His wisdom and compassion, He will not leave things as they are one moment longer than is the very best for us.
- How confident are you that God loves and cares for you despite the pain you may endure?
- How can we comfort those who are suffering?
- What can we do to encourage ourselves in difficult times?