Understanding Pain

There is plenty of harm, misery, and cruelty in this world. There is plenty of harm, misery, and cruelty in our conduct and in us. Mark 7:20-23. All of us experience pain. Why? Where did it come from?

All pain is the result of harm or sin. In answering why do I hurt, we need to understand sin, and how it effects us. The sins of others effect us as well as our own. Our own sins effect others as well as ourselves.

What is harm?

Theologically we call harm sin. Any thought or action that harms is sin. Sin is internal as well as external. Proverbs 24:9; Mark 7:20-23; Matthew 5:27, 28

  1. Distrust. Distrust has many forms. Despair is a form of distrust. Grumbling is another form of distrust. So are complaining and cowardice. Matthew 3:16-4:4 (quoting from Deuteronomy 8:2,3) Romans 14:23 Luke 12:22-32.
  2. Presumption. Presumption is seen in our lack of prayer, our lack of realising our need of God. Matthew 4:5-7 (Psalm 91:9-12 Deuteronomy 6:16 Exodus 17:1-7) James 4:17
  3. Rebellion. Matthew 4:8-11 1John 3:4 (compare Romans 13:10) 1 Samuel 15:22,23.


Harm has a promoter

Who is the Devil? Where did Satan come from?

He was in heaven and in the Garden of Eden. Ezekiel 28:11-19 (Genesis ch.3)

What does Satan do? What keeps the devil busy?

  1. Designing evil, planning harm. John 8:44; 1 John 3:8 His present goal is your ruin. 1 Peter 5:8
  2. Deceiving, attacking, & accusing. Revelation 12:7-13; Zechariah 3:1

How does Satan work?

A sample of his work is given in Genesis 3 & Matthew 4. In these examples of his work he first encouraged forgetfulness. Then he used forgetfulness to insinuate doubt. After insinuating doubt he used that doubt to justify wrong. Then he strongly urged the wrong. Finally, after the fact he often harasses with fear and guilt. In other instances he outright attempts to control, as, for example, seen in spiritualism. 1 Samuel 28

What is his future?

  1. 1000 years to reflect. Revelation 20:1-3.
  2. Destruction. Revelation 20:7--15 (Malachi 4:3). Isaiah 14:12-21.

What can I do about Satan?

Resist the Devil. 1 Peter 5:8, 9. James 4:6-8.

God allows Satan to promote a limited amount of harm.

Why does God allow Satan to promote harm and pain? Sin is allowed, so that we (and other beings who are not on this planet) can understand that all sin is harmful. God wants only the service of love. Therefore He allows the universe a first hand experience with every thing that He is against. This way we can see His wisdom in outlawing sin, and serve Him because we agree with Him.

"The earth was dark through misapprehension of God. That the gloomy shadows might be lightened, that the world might be brought back to God, Satan's deceptive power was to be broken. This could not be done by force. The exercise of force is contrary to the principles of God's government; He desires only the service of love; and love cannot be commanded; it cannot be won by force or authority. Only by love is love awakened. To know God is to love Him; His character must be manifested in contrast to the character of Satan. This work only one Being in all the universe could do. Only He who knew the height and depth of the love of God could make it known. Upon the world's dark night the Sun of Righteousness must rise, "with healing in His wings." Mal. 4:2." The Desire of Ages p.22.

This opportunity for the revelation of sin and its consequences, and the test of whether we should serve God is presented in the book of Job.

In the revelation of sin, the consequences of doing good or evil are often delayed. Why?

  1. God lends His world out for others to care for. Luke 20:9-16.
  2. We must wait to see good or evil come from those who pretend to be gods. We need to see their character. Isaiah 41:21-23.
  3. Manifestation of the glory of God. John 9:1-3.

This delay of justice brings two dangers:

  1. We may become discouraged. Ps. 77:7-13; Ps. 73.
  2. We may become careless and settled in our ways. Ecclesiastes 8:11-14.

What can I do about pain?

1. Eliminate the cause.

Sin spoils any friendship with God. Sin separates. Is. 59:1,2. What can I do about Sin? Take it to God. 1 John 1:9 Isaiah 53:5,6,& 8

2. Find comfort in God. God helps pain.

Remember God comforts us. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 John 14:16-18 Although God may delay bringing those who hurt to justice, He definitely will do it. Romans 12:19-21 We need to trust Him and leave all revenge with Him. There is nothing God would rather do, if we will let Him, than keep us from causing pain, heal the pain we experience, and prevent us from having pain in the future. May we let Him!