The Pain Olympics
"You just don't understand what I've been through" is a common response from those who reject to believe that God loves them and has a purpose and plan for their lives. Why can't we often see past our own pain to see the truth of God's word? Is our human suffering any greater than God's? The way people try to compare sufferings is like they are competing in a "pain Olympics" that there are awards for gold, silver, and bronze for who has the worst pain. So who would God says has the worst pain?
Is it the young woman who was sexually molested by her father when she was a child?
Is it the loving husband whose wife left him for another man?
Is it parents who lost their child in a car accident or that child killed themselves?
Is it a 25 year old, physically fit, executive diagnosed with a rare cancer whose life completely changes to where she is now not able to work and is completely dependent on others?
Is it a 9 year old boy who is kidnapped from his home and sold into sex trafficking?
Whose pain is worse?
Is their pain relevant to the Gospel of Christ? This is where most will stop listening and turn away in an angry, severely offended, condemning manner saying things like, "How can you disregard their suffering" or "You are belittling their situations".
As Christians, are we to be concerned about hurting people's feelings or saving their soul?
Did Jesus placate those following Him, was He worried about hurting their feelings? I will proclaim that Jesus did not care one bit about their "feelings", He often told them to STOP depending on their feelings and instead to THINK/BELIEVE the truth, irregardless of their situations:
"Which of you by worrying can make themselves 1-inch taller? " Matthew 6:27, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble" Matthew 6:34.
"Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it" Luke 17:33
"And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell. " Matthew 10:28.
Isaiah 41:10 ESV / Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV / Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Not once in the entire Bible does God ever applaud feelings, give a pass for feelings because of horrific circumstances, or make statements like, "I understand how you feel". Time and time again He would say, "Why are you feeling that way?", for example, in 1 Kings Chapter 19, when the prophet Elijah had just demonstrated God's awesome power against the evil prophets of Jezebel, he had them all killed, Jezebel threatened to kill him and Elijah got scared and ran away. did God respond to him and say "I understand Elijah, why you are feeling sad and alone, Jezebel is trying to kill you, and you have done nothing wrong".
Who gets the gold medal for the worst pain ever?
He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has taken up our pain and carried our sufferings; Yet we considered Him punished by God, stricken by Him and afflicted, But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for out iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was put upon Him and by His stripes we are healed...And The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:3-6
Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, died that the ungrateful, wicked, hypocritical, sinful man could live. God did not ask us to change first, He offered Himself first. The pain that He must go through since the beginning that His creation rebelled against Him is unimaginable, that no matter how good He treats His creation, we still reject Him. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!" Matthew 23:37. But thank God, that because of His benevolence, we do not get what we deserve. His love for us is so amazing that He can love us in spite of our sin and rejection of Him!
Pain and suffering are part of the human condition because of sin. This earth and humankind are cursed and until that curse is lifted, all kinds of tragedies will continue to happen to us. Yes, some sufferings are worse than others, but no human suffering can compare to God's.
The consequences of suffering from a humanistic view point ends in nothing but futility, a wasted, useless life.
The consequences of suffering in God's kingdom is that God can make ANY situation work out for our good to those who love Him and are called (and accept that call) according to his purpose. Romans 8:28.
There is going to be a Day of Judgment, and God will judge everyone who has ever lived, His wrath is going to poured out on all the wicked and ungodly. The eyes of the unrepentant wicked need to be opened and the ears unplugged so they can see and hear the truth. The Good News is Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, born of a virgin; Jesus lived and died but He rose from Dead, and now offers anyone who will believe in Him Salvation. Salvation is a free gift from God, anyone who will believes in the shed blood of the risen Savior, Jesus, will know and have a real relationship with the true God. You can't work for it or buy because the price has already been paid with the Blood of Jesus Christ and Believing in Jesus gets us into the Kingdom of God and saves us from the righteous wrath of God. But that is not all, He gives us a new heart and mind NOW, and we receive some of His blessing from heaven NOW and are equipped to be able to live a life that is holy and acceptable to Him NOW. (Romans 6:9; 10:9-13, Ephesians 2:8, Isaiah 7:14, 2 Corinthians 5:18-19).
1. Believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is real, He lived and died and rose from the grave. (Romans 10:9-10)
2. Believe that you are a sinner, repent-turn from your sins and realize and accept you need Jesus. (Mark 1:15, Matthew 4:17, Acts 3:19)
3. Confess with your mouth that Jesus is your Lord and God. (Romans 10:9)
4. Find a local Bible preaching church that does obey the commandment for water baptism for the remission of your sins and to identify yourself with Christ. (Acts 16:31)
This is just the first step to a lifelong journey of growing in truth and love with the God who created this earth and everything in it, including every human being that has ever lived.
Bible verses related to this post: 1 Kings Chapter 19; Isaiah 53:3-6; Matthew 23:27; Romans 8:28; Isaiah 41:10; Proverbs 3:5-6; Matthew 10:28;Matthew 6:27;Matthew 6:34; Luke 17:33
Erica Harris is a God Gifted Christian Coach, Counselor, providing insights and truths from the Word of God, The Bible.