It’s easy to get tied in mental knots when we are in pain. Sometimes we assume that God causes all our pain, or that all pain is the direct result of our sin. If you are in pain today, consider the following – I hope it will help restore your theological balance, and therefore your ability to move forward through your pain:
Some pain is simply the result of the world being fallen. Things like sickness or natural disasters, over which we have no control. When catastrophe strikes, people who are good and people who are evil all suffer together.
Some pain is the result of our past decisions. There are consequences to our actions. Some consequences take years to work through and work out. But don’t ever think that God is up there gloating that you are in pain, or saying, “Well, he/she really deserves this!” No. Nix. Never. He was – and is – so concerned about helping you (no matter what the problem is that you are facing) that he sent Jesus to die for you and rise from the dead, so that you can have the power of the resurrection itself working on your behalf.
Some pain is the result of other people’s sin, like when one spouse abuses another the other. God doesn’t cause that: he doesn’t want it; he doesn’t desire it. He permits it because that was the cost of giving us free will. To step in and prevent us from hurting each other would, in fact, be negating the freedom of action that was his greatest gift to us when he made us in his image. But his heart breaks every time we hurt each other, and he stands ready and waiting to help us when we call on him.
And, occasionally, God may actually send pain our way by his direct action. If he does, we can be sure that it is always for our own good, and that he never sends pain without also sending the grace to see us through it.
God is with you in your pain. He loves you. He will see you through.