The Problem Of Pain

Sunday, June 28, 2015
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Shall We Gather At The River"1 (Lyrics)

Luke 22:42-44 – "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. (NIV)

We were worming the livestock when the first goat injected began screaming in pain and then promptly fainted. Then, her sister, the next in line, repeated her performance. Alarmed at their reaction, we contacted the vet, who asked us to read the prescription label. Upon doing so, she informed us that the clinic had incorrectly typed the label, and the goats had received ten times the recommended dosage. Fortunately, the goats were unharmed and quickly recovered from their trauma.

The problem with pain is that nobody wants it — not even Jesus, Who prayed on the night of His arrest, before being led to the hill of crucifixion, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me."

Jesus dreaded the thought of what He knew was to come, yet His prayer and this scene in the Garden of Gethsemane have important points to teach us about dealing with pain.

First, Jesus was honest with His Father about the situation. He let God know that this was a pain that He didn't want. Next, He submitted to it: "Not my will, but yours be done." He was willing to embrace the pain; He chose not to run from it but to accept it by trusting that God knew what He was about. And then, something wonderful happened: An angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him. The angel did not come and change what was about to happen; rather, he gave Jesus all that He needed to deal with the situation.

Pain is a reality of life. Emotional, physical, or spiritual pain visits all of us occasionally. The question is, what shall we do with it when it comes our way and seeks to rob us of our joy and wellbeing, even our lifestyle and independence? Will we choose to resist and even ultimately run away from God, Who may not seem to be doing anything to help us? Will we, like Jesus, yield and say, "Not my will, but yours be done"? Will we continue to believe by faith that our heavenly Father is trustworthy to supply everything that we need for as long as we need to endure?

The choice is ours: to run or to yield. One leads to further pain, while the other leads to something wonderful. It leads to Christ-like transformation within us. For God has promised that He works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose even amidst, and perhaps especially amidst, the unendurable, and that's a promise that we can count on.

Prayer: Father God, pain is a terrible thing. It saps our strength, hope, and joy. It penetrates our thoughts, words, and actions. Bless those this day who suffer. Grant them Your strength, purpose, and encouragement, that they may continue to endure with the power, glory, and light of Jesus. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Tawatinaw, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Such a good reminder Lynne. Indeed, we all face it.

    Thank you for another beautiful devotional; yours are very special to me.

    Thank you for providing a Biblical perspective on the problem of pain. Blessings.

    Thank you Lynne. Glad your goats were ok and Thanks to them for their experience to inspire you for this devotional.

    After a night of enduring pain and getting little sleep your message really spoke to me this morning. Thanks and have a blessed day!

    Thank you Lynne for addressing this.
    I can relate as I have underwent the situation several times over the past few years.
    God bless you and your ministry.

    Good insights Lynne. The problem of pain is a problem that affects most people at one time or another. Thank you for sharing what God has put on your heart to encourage us.

    Thank you once again for another wonderful and inspirational Devotion. I always enjoy how you incorporate animals in your writing. I can usually guess that you are the writer after the first paragraph for that reason.
    May God continue to bless you as you serve Him through these Devotionals.

    Once again you have found a way to make the complicated simple.
    Outstanding! I am forwarding this devotional to several people who can use a good word today. Thank you for using your animals and experiences just as Jesus did to speak hope, faith, and life into the body of Christ. May God continue to use you so powerfully for His glory.

    Thank you so much Lynne. Last night I was texting with my niece and she is in so much pain. I prayed for her this morning again and then opened your wonderful and timely message. I also opened an old devotional by my Pastor to a page where it says GOD DOESN’T WANT ONE CELL CANCEROUS OR ONE CELL FUNCTIONING BELOW OPTIMUM. My niece is becoming more interested in God and I believe the whole family will get there also.
    Thank you so much Lynn and God bless you. Our God is an awesome God!

    Wonderful! Just what I needed. I was in ER last recently and 2 more days in the diagnostic with a pain I have tolerated since flying in April.
    Well the outcome of the tests, I and three others in ER have contracted a new virus (it is in the other hospital too) and the doctors are baffled.
    Did we all fly? More research needed.
    I have a follow -up but am learning to tolerate better now that I know I’m not alone.
    It attacks the abdominal wall and irritates.
    Some days good, some not so good.
    Thanks for writing.
    Love and blessings.

    Lynne, this is a wonderfully sensitive yet necessarily practical approach to dealing with the subject of pain. As you said it comes to all; the Christian is not exempt. However, as you so beautifully point out, we have a Saviour, and we have the Lord’s word to enable us to go in, trusting Him to show us how.
    I am there right now, but also find that “speaking to the mountain”:, i.e. the pain, and commanding it to be removed from my body has been miraculously fulfilled for me over and over again. I have based it on His word, His promise, and the faith He has shown in answering my prayer countless times. He is still in the miracle working business.
    Howwever, we follow and obey no matter the outcome because of the wonderful love He continually pours out on us. And as Jesus prayed, Lord if You WILL… but not MY wiil Father.
    Thank you again for all of your inspiring devotionals.
    Bless you.

    Hello Lynne.
    The devastating segment in the death of Jesus, was, when He took my sins upon Himself, and suffered in my place, as though He had committed each sin Himself. The agonizing horror of that moment caused Him to cry out!!
    Rejoice dear sister.

    Praise God that He is sovereign over all things, even mistakes and evil intent! Even when it hurts we have to trust that our God is greater. Yes, well as one who is allergic to pain, and has had to challenge doctors and nurses as to what they were doing was correct, necessary, or even for me, I am glad to be out of hospital!!
    God is greater, but we have also to be vigilant!

    And thanks be to the doctors, nurses, hospitals that sometimes can help to relieve pain.

    You hit the nail on the head. The problem with pain is that nobody wants it.

    Lynne, Thank you for giving the great example of Christ, who knew what pain He was to suffer, but yielded to the Father’s will. This situation reminded me of when it came time for me to sign the permit for the cardiac surgeon to perform open heart surgery, I resisted; I knew what was going to be done to my chest so the surgeon would be able to get to my heart, having assisted with these procedures in my previous role as operating room nurse.
    Of course, like Christ, I went ahead with the surgery which resulted in a positive outcome. Praise Him!

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