But God, that hurts!

I’m being challenged to face up to what I really think about pain and God allowing it. An old subject, but one all of us face eventually–if we even dare to go there. The Psalms have many anguished cries to God about why He’s allowing so much to go wrong sometimes. His people suffered terribly–and they didn’t always deserve it either. Neither do we always deserve our sufferings. Bad, unfair things happen.

Some suffering seems so needless and yet the Lord, in His infinite wisdom, chooses to allow it again and again. He even allowed His beloved Son to suffer. This is so hard for us. We wince at the idea that there can be good purposes in suffering. Nothing about pain seems good to us–it hurts.

Yes, part of it, maybe most of it, is due to living in a fallen world. Adam and Eve sinned and a curse of death fell on the human race from then on–until the promised redemption we have in Christ becomes fully realized one day. All things truly will then be made new. The tears will be wiped away, death and sickness will actually end. There will be no more sin and suffering. The crooked will be made straight, the rough places made smooth, the lion will lie down with the lamb. We who are in Christ have these tremendous things to genuinely look forward to. Christus Victor!

But, in the meantime, each of us faces various degrees of pain in our lives, some quite severely. Hope in the love of Christ and His constant presence by the Spirit have carried many Christians through awful persecutions throughout the ages and across the globe. We in the Western Church may go through less obvious sufferings, but we do suffer too, sooner or later, one way or another. When we do, we have a choice to suffer well or not. Granted, it takes God’s mighty sustenance to suffer well. But some do.

I do trust the character of my loving heavenly Father. It’s easy to think that but falter when pain comes. He is with us in it–but the Enemy will try to convince us we’re alone–just adding to our suffering. It’s a lie. Our Lord never leaves us, never forsakes us. We’re never alone in Christ. We have His Word on that.

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