What does God say about our pain?

Pain is an unavoidable part of the human experience. At some point in our lives, we will all encounter suffering and hardship. In difficult times, many seek comfort and meaning by looking to their faith. For Christians, understanding God’s perspective on suffering can bring hope and peace in the midst of trials.

Why does God allow pain and suffering?

This is one of the most common questions believers ask. If God is all-loving and all-powerful, why doesn’t He prevent us from going through painful experiences? The Bible helps us understand that although God is sovereign, He has given humans free will. This means we can make choices outside of His will that result in sin and suffering. God does not cause evil, but He does allow it.

God uses the pain for good purposes. As Romans 8:28 tells us, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Through suffering, He helps us turn away from sin, rely more fully on Him, develop perseverance and character, and minister to others.

God can bring good out of the evil in this world

While God does not directly cause evil, He is able to use even the most horrific events to accomplish His purposes. For example, the crucifixion brought salvation to the world. Jesus willingly suffered on the cross for our sake. God can bring good out of any situation if we submit our lives to Him.

Suffering helps refine our faith

Difficult times in our lives refine our faith in God. 1 Peter 1:6-7 tells us, “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” As we rely on God during trials, our faith is purified and proven genuine.

Hardship develops godly character

As James 1:2-4 explains, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Difficult times force us to lean wholly on God. This develops perseverance, integrity, and maturity as we are conformed to the image of Christ.

How does God comfort us in pain and sorrow?

God is able to provide supernatural comfort, peace, and joy in the midst of our pain. By trusting in His sovereignty, believers can experience hope and rest despite their circumstances.

Through His Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is our Counselor and Helper who God has sent to be with us forever (John 14:16). The Spirit brings us comfort, divine love, and grace. As 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 tells us, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

Through Scripture

The Bible offers words of solace and hope. Passages such as Psalm 34:18 – “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” – remind us of God’s nearness in grief. Meditating on Scriptures about God’s comfort and peace enables us to receive strength and encouragement from the Holy Spirit.

Through prayer

God invites us to cast our cares upon Him through prayer (1 Peter 5:7). As we bring our pain and petitions to our Heavenly Father, He provides comfort and transforms our perspective. Prayer connects us to God’s supernatural power and opens our hearts to receive His peace.

Through other believers

God comforts us through other Christians as well. 2 Corinthians 1:4 tells us God comforts us so that we can pass on that comfort to others in need. By surrounding ourselves with supportive believers, we can find empathy, reassurance, and community during trials.

How can we grow spiritually through hardship?

Though painful, hardship provides opportunities for believers to mature in our faith and Christian walk if we respond correctly.

By leaning into God

The natural human response is to turn away from God in anger or attempt to fix situations ourselves. Yet Scripture tells us to cast our anxieties on God and trust in His purposes (1 Peter 5:7, Proverbs 3:5-6). As we turn to Him in dependence and submission, He will draw near to us (James 4:8).

By clinging to eternal hope

Pain can cause us to focus on our temporal circumstances. But God calls us to fix our eyes on eternal rewards and His coming kingdom (2 Corinthians 4:17-18). This hope empowers endurance and perseverance now.

By giving thanks

Giving thanks in everything demonstrates radical trust in God’s sovereignty (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). When we choose gratitude despite our pain, God is able to work powerfully in our hearts and situations. Intentional thanksgiving is key to spiritual growth in trials.

By relying on Scripture

God’s word is a deep well of wisdom and comfort for difficult seasons. As we meditate on and memorize Bible passages that speak to our particular pain, we will experience renewal of our minds and spirits (Psalm 119:50). Biblical truth sustains and strengthens us.

What kinds of pain and suffering do people commonly experience?

There are many varieties of hardship, some of which are listed below:

Type of Suffering Examples
Physical suffering Illness, injury, disability, chronic pain
Emotional suffering Grief, depression, anxiety, mental illness
Cirumstantial suffering Poverty, homelessness, unemployment
Social suffering Loneliness, rejection, bullying, discrimination
Spiritual suffering Doubt, disillusionment, feelings of distance from God

Yet as universal as pain is, we all suffer in unique ways. Our distinct life experiences, personalities, and genetic makeups mean that no one encounters pain exactly the same.

How does the Bible depict different characters suffering?

Many biblical figures endured great trials yet provide shining examples of faith in hardship. We can learn from their responses to suffering.

Job – Undeserved suffering

Job faced tremendous personal tragedy including losing his property, livelihood, and children (Job 1-2). Yet he responded, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21). God eventually restored Job (Job 42:10).

Joseph – Unjust suffering

Joseph’s brothers betrayed him and sold him into slavery (Genesis 37:12-36). Joseph resisted bitterness and became a leader in Egypt, ultimately saving his family (Genesis 45:5-8). God redeemed evil for good.

David – Natural consequences of sin

David committed adultery and murder yet found redemption through repentance (2 Samuel 11-12, Psalm 51). He wrote honestly about the emotional anguish sin creates. God mercifully forgave David.

Jeremiah – Suffering for obedience

Jeremiah prophesied persecution for accurately speaking God’s word (Jeremiah 20:7-18). He felt the painful loneliness of following God’s call. Jeremiah learned to trust in God’s strength.

Paul – Suffering for the Gospel

Paul experienced intense suffering including imprisonment, beatings, and hunger for preaching the Gospel (2 Corinthians 11:23-28). Despite this, he overflowed with joy and dependence on Christ (Colossians 1:24, 2 Corinthians 12:10).

How does Jesus relate to human suffering?

Jesus provides the ultimate example of undeserved suffering. He willing experienced rejection, betrayal, physical pain, and death on the cross for our salvation. Jesus identifies intimately with our human pain.

Jesus experienced the full range of human suffering

During His earthly life, Jesus endured both physical pain and emotional grief. He was fully human and “a man of suffering, and familiar with pain” (Isaiah 53:3). Jesus can completely empathize with our suffering, which enables Him to comfort us.

Jesus brings healing to our suffering

Just as Jesus healed and restored individuals during His ministry, He still offers spiritual and literal healing to those who come to Him today. While not removing all suffering now, He has conquered sin and death and will one day eradicate pain completely.

Jesus redeems our pain for His purposes

Like Joseph, Jesus takes suffering that is meant for evil and uses it for the good of saving many (Genesis 50:20). As we unite our pain to Christ, He transforms our brokenness into wholeness and creates beauty from ashes.

Jesus empowers us to endure suffering

Christ living within believers gives us supernatural strength to withstand hardships and shine His light to others (2 Corinthians 4:8-12, Philippians 4:13). His grace enables us to rejoice and be content even in trials.


Suffering is a mystery believers will never fully comprehend this side of eternity. Yet we can receive comfort, peace, and purpose from God’s word and Spirit when we encounter trials. He promises to be near to us in pain, use it for our growth, and redeem suffering for His glory.

Clinging to the hope of Jesus Christ gives meaning to our hardship. United to Him, our temporary afflictions are achieving for us eternal glory (2 Corinthians 4:17-18). God cares deeply about our pain and can empower us to endure and even thrive in the toughest circumstances if we trust in Him.

Leave a Comment