​THE AGONY OF PAIN AND THE TEMPTATION TO RECONSIDER GOD?

This world is full of surprises. I do not mean the surprises that put smiles on the faces of those who have received the package. This is not one of those “happy-ever-after tales” the children cartoons love to show.

In life, serious twists occur: twists that result in unexpected, unbelievable and painful experiences. Almost suddenly, the good becomes the bad. The beautiful goes extinct, not because the ugly was the fittest to survive but because a twist re-branded what used to be beautiful leaving dust and ashes as remnants of past delights.

 

Pain And Other Woes

A man happily drives his family for a long awaited vacation. The specially planned trip becomes one of grief when a drunk driver runs into the family van, killing the wife, all three children and leaving the father unconscious and losing much blood. The bereaved father awakes to a world of misery. He begins to contemplate if there is anything worth living for.

What about the newly wed bride who looses her dear husband as he tries to get her safe from the wrath of a spree killer?  Can you quantify the grief?

Multiple killings keep making the news headlines. One suddenly finds out that his next door neighbor has taken his own life only after taking those of several “random” people. The news becomes more devastating when a close friend has lost his loving mother in the shootings.

Bomb blasts are common news. The experience however is not common for those who have to search for dismembered parts of spouses, children, parents or neighbors which lie scattered in the rubble. Tears fall to the ground, hands are thrown in despair and people sit in the rubble, unable to rationalize the unpredictable fatal twists in life.

What if I should write about the horrors of watching oneself or a loved one succumb to the wasting of an incurable disease? What about the brilliant child who has lost focus and stands confused about the verbal wars between her parents? Wars that finally end with both parties agreeing about nothing but that each one has had enough and would call it quit on the marriage. The child is caught in the crossfire and all motivation seems lost in the deep blue sea.

What about the betrayal by a spouse? A spouse elopes with another party after suddenly awakening to a kind of love that cares nothing about marital vows. Betrayal by a close friend is no news and with more gravitation towards moral relativism, one may just be surprised how much justification people will cook up for ungodly acts.

Somehow, everyone seems to get a portion of grief, pain, suffering and disappointments in this world. No one seems to be spared, not even those who have turned their backs on the world and  entrusted all to Lord Jesus. Lord Jesus Himself had His fair share. So fair was His share and so grand was what He did with the share that by His stripes we are healed and by His death and resurrection, we too are dead to the world and alive to God.

 

God Spoke Clearly About Pain.

Our heavenly Father clearly spoke about the many unpleasant experiences in the world. He never promised a suffering or disappointment-proof ride. The scriptures, through the first and second testaments record how God informs His Chosen ones about the suffering they would face in the world. One way God continues to work is to keep the saints informed of what lies ahead. He will not act unless He reveals His counsel through His prophets (Amos 3:7). If anyone knew this well, it was Lord Jesus.

To show how much God wanted us to be aware of the relationship between the saints and suffering in this world, He has allowed for a book that records in detail the suffering of a Godly man.

The Book of Job details the suffering of a man who knew God, loved good and shunned evil. Job is one of the few men in scriptures whose suffering and loss is deeply touching. He lost virtually everything: his wealth, prestige, friends, children and wife. Job began to rationalize that he had a case to take up with God. His hope in God did not fail, however, Job could not understand why God had not showed up after allowing certain unpleasant things to happen to him. He later found out that God’s Faithfulness remained just as steadfast as it was during his more pleasant years.

 

A Problem

The main gravitation of hard times is the tendency to make a believer question or doubt God’s Person, whether this means reconsidering His goodness, love, kindness, compassion, omnipotence, etc. This is no small matter because the greatest assurance we have from God about Himself is His immutability which includes the truth that God does not lie. This to me is the main temptation burden for believers when the hurricanes of life hit without mercy and everything begins to fall apart like useless debris.

The idea behind the doubt question is: “how would God allow a believer to grow through deep agonies if He Himself knew how it felt to be in such a position?” Something about suffering evokes questions on how close and personal God is.

The problem is not really the answer to this question because God has revealed Himself to be utterly personal and involved in the affairs of all who believe in Him. This is seen clearly in both the old and new testaments.

 

God’s Assurance

In Isaiah 43:2, the Living God not only mentions that difficult times will come, He also gives an assurance that He will go through the difficulties with His people. A clear example of this is the manifestation of the God’s Presence in the fiery Babylonian furnace into which Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were thrown because of their refusal to bow to the king’s golden idol. Who would have known that God’s presence was so tangible with them if He had not made His Presence physically observable? (Daniel 3:19-25).

These things are shown to us to strengthen our faith in the truth that God stands by His Word and that He is more near than we can ever imagine. God goes through our tribulations with us.

The hope of God’s presence doesn’t end with the old testament. In fact, it becomes more tangible and hope securing. Jesus stepped into earth; the Son of God and Son of Man. He did not distance Himself from the hurting world by claiming special privileges. Jesus took the lowly path. A King born in a manger, one of the least favorite places on the mind to give birth to a child. He wasn’t born into a royal family but took a place in the family of a carpenter with brothers and sisters who did not believe in Him.

More than these,

Jesus was well acquainted with grief and sorrow. He knew what it meant to be despised, oppressed and rejected; many threw His precious gifts in His face. He understood what it meant to be betrayed, brutally beaten, scorned and mocked. Jesus knew how it felt to be undermined and underestimated.

He experienced the hurts of conspiracies, hate, misrepresentation and misunderstanding. Jesus knew the pain of abandonment by close friends as well as the pain of loosing people He loved deeply. He understood the agony of injustice, false accusations and cruel death (Isaiah 53:1-9).

If Jesus knew what it meant to go through all of these, I must say that in Jesus, God has gotten much more personal with man. God’s anointed went through it all and as Paul put it: “Jesus Christ our High Priest has gone through all points of tests that we could go through and He went through all without the flaw of sin (Hebrews 4:15). This qualifies Him to be a reliable help for all in such hard times (Hebrews 2:18).

As God was in the Old Testament, Lord Jesus was clear that the saints will face hard times in this world. The Apostles taught other believers that hard times would come and that they should not be overwhelmed by the difficulties they would face. (James 1:2-4; Romans 5:3-5).

What consolation did Lord Jesus provide the saints going through hardship? He promised His presence with them throughout the age. This is exactly the same promise YAHWEH gave Israel in Isaiah 43:2. Why would God promise His Presence with us in the storm? I believe it is because His Presence is really what we need. God is deeply interested in making us confident in Who He Is and how personally involved He is in our lives. HE goes through the joys, sorrows, strengths and weaknesses with us.

He is truly Emmanuel- God with us.

The real question is whether or not we are capable of accepting the truth of what God has said while we go through brutal suffering and unimaginable pain.

Do we have enough faith in God’s proven personality such that it overrides the present pain and even evokes joy and peace in our hearts?

Lord Jesus has never been far away from us. He is nearer than we can imagine. He knows what we feel and has been through them all. When we can trust Him [His immutability] above the pain and suffering, we are holding onto Eternal Essence which unlike the earthly discomfort will never pass away.

 

Though the pain seems hard to bear

And our hearts tempt us to sway

Jesus Christ is ever near

Yesterday, today and forever.

(jesusisthewhole.org)

13 Replies to “​THE AGONY OF PAIN AND THE TEMPTATION TO RECONSIDER GOD?”

  1. This is a treasure, Luminous. You are so right, and it is astonishing that our Creator would humble Himself so much to experience pain and suffering just as we do. This fact makes me love Him so much more!

    You wrote “…with more gravitation towards moral relativism, one may just be surprised how much justification people will cook up for ungodly acts.” I believe this to be absolutely true. The more we justify, the further from the Lord we drift. This is particularly notable while parenting teenagers, and it truly humbles me to see the lessons I need to learn reflected in their lives.

    Great stuff! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Please pardon my delayed response Dear Heather. Another round of busy schedule kept me off for a while. I hope you find some pardon for me.

      Like you mentioned, I stand in awe of my Lord Jesus. In every single way, He surpasses my conceptions and expectations. What more? He wants “us” to be like Him and guess what? He lives inside of us! It should be Him living in us, not us anymore.

      I never saw the writing on “moral relativism” from the perspective you have shared. Thanks for sharing the experience. I have a lot to learn.

      It is a privilege to speak of the excellence of Christ the Lord. May His Name alone be praised. Amen.

      More of Lord Jesus to you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Of course, my friend! I completely understand. We are also quite busy, and today I have been trying to catch up on some emails and blogs…

        Truly, we all have a lot to learn. That is why I praise our Lord for His patience and grace!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. A great Message with much Truth Egieukposadoyo, I hope you don’t mind me using your Name as shown in Bruce’s Comment, God knows us by Name, they are very important.

    You asked; “Do we have enough Faith in God’s proven personality such that it overrides the present pain and even evokes Joy and Peace in our Hearts?”

    Yes I do have enough God given Faith because He placed in my Heart His Truth when I asked for His Wisdom and Empowering by The Spirit and I have no doubts that He is Love and can do no evil and as confirmed below all Scripture is to be taken to Heart having been inspired by Him regardless of who it was written to, it is for Leaning, Correction and also for Comfort and Assurance of His Love and Truth. God will even show us Translation error or deception, we do not have to worry about these.

    2 Timothy 3:1-17 – All Scripture is given by Inspiration of God and is profitable for Doctrine, for Reproof, for Correction, for Instruction in Righteousness, that the Man of God may be Perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all Good Works. (KJV)

    I would also like to share some of the Scriptures God gave me during my Storm Egieukposadoyo and a Song that lifts me up too, if I have shared them with you before I hope you will be blessed again.

    Isaiah 43:1-3….. Fear not for I have redeemed thee I have called thee by thy Name thou art Mine. When thou passest through the waters I will be with thee and through the rivers they shall not overflow thee, when thou walkest through the fire thou shalt not be burned neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am The LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour….. (KJV)

    Jeremiah 29 :11-12 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you says the LORD, thoughts of Peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

    Lamentations 3: 33 For God doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the Children of Men.

    Christian Love and Blessings – Anne.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your encouraging feedback Dear Ma. I am glad that you have a faith that stands no matter what the storm might be. This is not the case for every believer though, hence the reason for the post and encouragement.

      I love the quotes you gave. Some of them are even mentioned in the post itself. Thank you for the video share too. I know the song and enjoy the lyrics as well. God’s word give us hope. Jesus is the Word of God.

      I receive the love Dear Anne.

      More of Lord Jesus to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well said Egieukposadoyo, what Jesus allowed Himself to be subjected to for us boggles my mind and I am really nothing and He is the Kings of Kings. Hard to comprehend other than gratitude and worship. I also think of what the Apostle Paul went through so most times our burden is light. Sometimes pain is so strong that all you can do is hold on as best you can and eventually it passes although that can seem like forever. Being separated from God would be the worst pain and Jesus even took that for us. I believe that there is a reason for everything including pain and sorrow, we all need to experience it to understand the depths to which it can affect us. I know that I don’t thoroughly understand but He wouldn’t allow us to experience it if there wasn’t a reason behind it. One day we will understand and like you said, Jesus went through much more pain and sorrow that the vast majority of us will ever endure, and He was and is our Creator. Thank you so much for this beautiful reminder. Blessings my brother. I look forward to meeting you in God’s Kingdom. Every knee shall bow and every mouth shall confess that Jesus is Lord.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I stand in agreement with you Dear Bruce. Our Lord Jesus Christ suffered much. Paul also suffered many things.

      Truly, we may reach some points of unbearable pain, however, God is still who He is and He understands our weaknesses.

      It is a privilege to serve the saints.

      I look forward to seeing you in the Kingdom of God too.

      Let all knees bow to the Lamb who is worthy. Amen.

      More of Lord Jesus to you Dear Bruce.

      Liked by 2 people

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