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Youth Messenger Online Edition


Why Pain
Ebert Fountain
Why Pain

Is it necessary to feel pain to understand God’s love? We read in 1 John 4:8 that “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” The Bible tells us very plainly that “God is love,” yet why then do we doubt this phrase? Is it possible that we must experience this love for ourselves in order to be certain about this truth? Billions of people have walked on this earth. But I venture to say that all of those who have a knowledge of God, including myself, have at one point doubted God’s love for them. Why would I make such a bold statement? It’s very simple! The whole purpose of Satan—the great deceiver—is to tell lies about God so that we will doubt Him and be led away from Him.

This is what Satan did with the angels who fell in heaven and this has ever been his mission since then. Satan also tempted Eve to mistrust God in the Garden of Eden. He said to Eve: “Ye shall not surely die” (Genesis 3:4), but right there he told a lie about God and led Eve to doubt His Word. When we believe lies about God, we can no longer fully trust Him. Eve was deceived into believing a lie about God; she believed that He did not mean what He said. These doubts made her to sin and brought misery to our world. What lie(s) concerning God and His character have you believed?

Did God forsake me?

It is sometimes very difficult to perceive the love of God when the walls of darkness seem to engulf us and all hope seems lost! These circumstances should not surprise us for Christ tells us, “In the world ye shall have tribulation” (John 16:33). When Christ was nailed to the cross, He cried, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34). As He was dying, Christ felt His Father separating His light and love from Him, allowing Him to suffer the penalty for our sins. So, we may also feel the separation from God when we sin. And often, we may think that He will not accept us back into His favor.

How many of you have felt unworthy to ask God for something? His word tells us: “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). But what does it mean to “come boldly”? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word boldly simply means: “a: fearless before danger, and b: showing or requiring a fearless daring spirit.” We understand that we should have no fear when we come to God in prayer knowing that He will give us what we ask Him if it’s according to His will. But we can only have no fear of being rejected when we stop believing lies about God.

Will God accept me?

Does God think like humans? We, for some reason, believe this to be true. When someone offends us, our human nature wants either vengeance or justice. We want to get them back for what they have done to us, or we hold a grudge for years, so the relationship is broken. But God tells us: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8, 9). How can we be certain that He will accept us and forgive us even after we have committed a terrible sin? God’s word plainly tells us: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Christ reveals to us His mission very plainly in three different places: (Matthew 9:13; Mark 2:17) where He says: “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32). Christ’s mission is to save sinners from their sinfulness, and to give them a life of everlasting joy and peace, not to condemn them for being sinners. Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary is, and will always be, the greatest evidence of God’s love for humanity. There is nothing greater that God could have given us than the life of the Prince of peace and Lord of lords. The great I AM stooped so low as to veil His divinity with our humanity.What greater evidence of God’s love for you could you desire? If He gave His life for you, why would He ever reject you? But then, if God is so loving, why is this world in a miserable state? What is the purpose in all this misery and suffering that people experience daily?

Our pain sends us to the Great Physician

If you fell off a two-story building, how would you know if you were injured? It is pain, not a lack of pain that would drive you to the physician to treat your injury. So, it is with our lives here on earth! It is the pain that we encounter in our daily life that shows us there is something drastically wrong in our world.

We realize that we need to put away sin. And through that realization we are led to the foot of the cross of Christ where we can “behold the lamb of God” and from Him we receive the treatment that we so desperately need. The Great Physician can only give us the healing we need! But unfortunately, many people don’t realize that Jesus is what they are searching for. They go through life looking for shelter from their troubles, but can only find it in Him.

When you are in trouble, wouldn’t you like to go to a safe place where you will be received with open arms? Solomon was often in trouble and he went to such a place: He says: “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe” (Proverbs 18:10). Remember, it is the great deceiver who wants you to believe that you will not be accepted! Believe not his lies about the great God of the universe. We have before us the greatest evidence of His love, and “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all” (Romans 8:32).

As the pain of a broken leg leads us to seek a remedy, so the pain of life leads us to seek the One who can alleviate and extinguish the pain that sin brings. The Bible says: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12, emphasis added).

Through all our pain and trials, we can rest in Christ knowing that He will give us more grace as our burdens grow greater. Annie Johnson Flint wrote the hymn, “He Giveth More Grace” and also some of the most inspiring poems dealing with faith and triumph in times of trial and suffering. She was born in Vineland, New Jersey, and lost both parents before she was six years old. As a teenager she was adopted by a childless couple. She became afflicted with arthritis and soon after became unable to walk. She aspired to be a composer and concert pianist, but when illness deprived her of her ability to play the piano, she resorted to writing poetry.  Some of her poetry she set to music. Later in life, being unable to open her hands, she wrote many of her poems on the typewriter, using her knuckles. 

The song “He Giveth More Grace” was based on three Bible promises, “He giveth more grace” (James 4:6); “He increaseth strength” (Isaiah 40:29); and “mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied” (Jude 2). 

There is a grace and strength that is not given in the everyday routine of life. But God gives it to us in our hour of need when we trust in Him. When troubles and trials come upon you, may His added grace, His increased strength, and His multiplied peace be upon you.