Saturday, November 14, 2009

Why Do Christians Experience So Much Pain?

Why do Christians experience so much pain? Isn't being a believer in God supposed to afford you some sort of protection from all the bad experiences of life? God loves us, right? So shouldn't that mean we experience more of His blessings than His trials and tribulations?

Many Christians puzzle over why they experience so much pain in their lives. I know when I was a 'baby' Christian, I thought being saved meant an end to pain and misery and a life of understanding, transcendent joy, wisdom and knowledge. Boy, was I wrong! It's probably true to say I went through more pain in adjusting to the Christian life and learning some hard-won lessons than when I had been 'out in the world' and supposedly enjoying myself.

So why do Christians experience so much pain? Well, we know the conventional wisdom that our trials come to make us stronger. And this is true. We are promised in 1 Peter 5:10 that after we have suffered a little while, God would strengthen, establish and settle us. We can also learn from the way God treated the Israelites. In Isaiah 48:10, God talks about how He refined the Israelites like silver, using affliction as His 'furnace'. And why did He feel the need to refine the Israelites with affliction? Because they had constantly disobeyed Him and tried to refute His laws and live the way they chose to instead. They were headstrong and stubborn. Disobedient and arrogant.

Much like we are. We come to God fully expecting to receive His love - which He freely gives us - but never expecting to have to give up our arrogance, stubbornness, disobedience and sin. We have been taught so often that God is love, we forget that He is also a God of accountability, sanctification and responsibility. Truly, we expect a free pass on everything, knowing that if we turn to God, He will forgive us everything.

But we must be 'afflicted' with trials and tribulations in order to learn some very important lessons with God. We have to learn to be 'refined' until our pride and sin are burned away. Until there is less and less of 'us' and much, much more of God.

It is a very hard lesson to learn.

And why do our trials seem to last for so long? Because some lessons you don't learn in the first hour, the first day or the first year of your tribulation. Some lessons you only learn when you've gone beyond your ability to bear your burdens and you finally - finally! - turn to God and give Him complete control of your life. Sometimes you don't get to a place of complete submission and yielding until you've done absolutely all you can and finally - finally! - realize that your efforts are futile and that, without God, you are nothing. And that's when the trial is over.

And then you can begin to fully experience His peace, His Love and His open-handed, free giving of Himself and His Blessings to you.

(I am in no way suggesting that every time you go through a trial, it is because you have a lesson to learn, but many times when you go through, it is for that very reason.)

And here is the biggest insight to the scripture from Isaiah 48:10. God tells the Israelites that He used affliction as His furnace so as to separate the bad from the good in their spiritual lives (much as the dross (or impurities) are separated when silver is refined). BUT - Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible gives us even greater insight. This commentary tells us that:

It was to refine them, but not as silver, or with silver, not so thoroughly as men refine their silver, which they continue in the furnace till all the dross is separated from it; if God should take that course with them, they would be always in the furnace, for they are all dross, and, as such, might justly be put away (Psa_119:119) as reprobate silver, Jer_6:30. He therefore takes them as they are, refined in part only, and not thoroughly. “I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction, that is, I have made thee a choice one by the good which the affliction has done thee, and then designed thee for great things.”

In other words, if God allowed us to go through the amount of affliction necessary to TRULY refine us, we'd never be free from our trials and tribulations! In His great mercy, He CHOOSES to accept us as we are - only partially refined - and continues to love and work with us ANYWAY.

So the next time you are feeling morally superior, remember - though you've been through a lot and feel like you have accomplished a lot spiritually - you are still only partially refined in God's eyes. It is out of His great love that He blesses us at all, so be more grateful for what you have rather than focusing on the very necessary trials and tribulations that we all have to face as Christians.

So why do Christians experience so much pain? Because it is both necessary and essential to becoming the type of Christians we need to be. Because, really, isn't the purpose to serve Him? And, instead of feeling bad about the length and number of trials that we experience, we should instead choose to feel gratitude that God accepts us as we are - partially refined, but wholly His. Which means unending Love, prosperity, blessings and all the good stuff. But know and accept that you WILL go through trials and tribulations. Your job now is simply to have the best attitude about them of which you are capable.

Be Blessed :)

37 comments:

DesperateNaijaWoman said...

This is so so so true Sonya... And you know another reason why I think we go through pain and this is from personal experience?

So that some day in the future AFTER you have been through your furnace and learnt your lesson, you can tell someone else with CONVICTION that 'I have been there, I know what you are feeeling BUT if you can ONLY STAND and let God deal with you while HE ALSO deals with the problem, you WILL make it through'. You will be able to look them in the eye and tell them that 'THIS TOO shall pass'

Thanks for sharing this, I am sending it to to 2 people that will be blessd but it right now.

Be at peace!

Mrs. Jenkins said...

Trials and tribulations are a test of your faith and aren't to move you. (Romans 8:17, 2 Corithians 1:6, 2 Corinthians 1:7, Phillipians 1:27, Phillipians 3:8). the bible clearly states that we must suffer as christ suffered. The bible also says faith without works is dead. So how can we honestly show that we believe in christ without trials.

Michael Lantz said...

I believe that is Gods way of drawing us to him.If we did not suffer in this world,we would not need God.We are to suffer tribulation while we are in this world,but there will be a time when we get our ressurected bodies we will no longer have to deal with pain and hardships.

AB said...

Interesting Blog! Its good to see other Christians focused on living their faith! Check out my blog below.
http://transformedromans12.blogspot.com/

RiverAngel42 said...

Nice Post. I agree with the points listed as well as the comments left behind. I think the important thing to remember is that through it all good or bad time that the what God wants most from all of us is relationship. He is our Father and wants us to depend on Him more than we depend on ourselves. Many times although we say we believe and we have faith we run around worrying and stressing over or own limitations instead of trusting God to move us beyond what are limitations have placed in front of us. WE become afraid of what is happening instead of staying prayed up for God to move on our behalf.

Enjoyed your site and will come back, please do the same http://www.onlinefellowship.org
Be Blessed
RiverAngel42

Anonymous said...

My mother always said, "Only trees grow in the valley." You are so right in your thinking. Great blog. I will be coming back.


Leah
www.fffcubed.blogspot.com

Urbanitez Outreach said...

The great promise of being a Christian and what differentiates us from non- Christians when we go through things is that we have this promise: John 16:33-" These things have I spoken to you , that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." This scripture gives me assurance of the fact that its inevitable to not have problems, however we are guaranteed that we will at the same time have the peace and comfort of the Lord to get us through.

Urbanitez Outreach
www.urbanitezoutreach.com

Dr. T.L. Sanderfer said...

Great post! One of my favorite Scripture verses comes from Romans 5:3-5, "... we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."

Lloyd said...

I really enjoyed your blog. Isn't it a blessing to know that whatever happens to us in this life, our God will always be with us. Our Lord will never leave nor forsake us. God bless, Lloyd

VioletRayne said...

Happy new year. Sadly, someone close to me actually shies away from God after a very difficult time in life. She said that she now didn't want to get too close to God for fear that He would send more problems for her! I've had my share of trials, tribulations and blessings too. I don't wish to be revisited by terrible times anymore, I hope God won't allow it to happen. I think we can still grow without them. I'm glad very recently I've just been blessed again.

marblaze said...

anyone can suffer too much pain not only christians. why. because once you die and see things in different perspective you will find that it is simply nothing.

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

When I look back at my trials and tribulations and what I learned from them, I know that I would not have wanted to avoid them even though they were incredibly difficult at the time.

jaz said...

a very true and nice article..

nice to read it..

God Bless you

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Anonymous said...

Jesus emphansize that in this world we will face tribulations, but we should rejoice because through Him (Christ we shall overcome the world. During our trials and pain we should sing and worship God more, for God to intervain, we can See Job for example that during his pains he love God more, so in your pain and trials, get more closer to God and through His aboundant grace He will see you through.

SDannieG said...

That's really true.
Sometimes I feel like an outcast because I'm different. Being a Christian Teenager isn't really easy because there are people that ridicule and judge me, and I feel so alone sometimes. But I do remember that God is always with me and He is my defender against the adversary.

marblaze said...

Pain is a gift. Body pain is an excellent design by God to make life easier. Without pain humanity will perish. Pain is a means (by the body) of leting us know that we have to do something lest we are putting ourselves into danger.

Jenna Marie said...

First of all, just wanted to say that was a great post.

Although I don't entirely consider myself a "christian" I share the majority of my beliefs with the christian faith. After coming into these beliefs I have now been experiencing immense and irrevokable pain. This pain, I've realized, is entirely caused by the pure fact that I (as do many Christians) begin to realize just how evil and unjust our world has become. Everyday living in this world hurts us on such a deeply humane level that life can seem unbareable. Especially as a new Christian, the influence of the devil stil lingers and tortures the soul.

This is why Christians and others with similar beliefs need to band together to form a haven. In a world of what seems to be increasing greed, alienation, and the decline of the concept of family-- many new christian walk these streets virtually alone. Everyday is a struggle to get the people of the world to understand them, and being a christian can be unbelievably lonely.

Love your blog because it connects Christians and begins the process of turning the world around!
-Jenna

Anonymous said...

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Prayer Request

Anonymous said...

I don't disagree with your blog. But also consider that Christians experience pain because they have a sinful nature, i.e. flesh that they have to crucify. In other words, that we experience pain is not only about what can happen to us from the outside, it is also about the fleshy desire we hold on to on the inside. We are instructed to live holy and set apart unto the Father. He has standards by which we must live our lives. Separating ourselves from which is unGodly is not always. It too can cause pain.

Christian said...

Big question, many reasons....

* Cost of discipleship
* Not promised no pain
* Take up your cross, follow Him - He's concerned with those who suffer
* Disciples of Christ can take pain better than others
* The blood of the martyr is the seed of the Church

September said...

I am new to your blog I have been reading the comments I notice a lot of people say trials sent by God.. I believe on occassion as in Job's case the devil asked permission of God to test Job. However most often I think we forget that even though we are Christians we live in a sinful world. The fact that we are christians doesn't insulate us from pain and sickness. Our 24 month old grandson ran in front of a moving vechile and was seriously injuried I don't believe God arranged that to teach us anything. It happened because a vechile was travelling and our grandson got away from his mother and ran in front of it. In our case after two serious brain surgeries and Drs. telling us he wouldn't live we had a miracle he is 13 last month and well and very smart in school. However the danger is to assume that God will always step in and change the course of events. Sometimes through prayer HE Does but not always. He has promised to always go through it with us and to work out the good in all things.
Trails and troubles come to us all in this life some more serious then others. We need to have a good understanding of God. Everyone experiences pain not just Christians but Christians have the promise that God wil hold our hand through it. God does not send the trial, the trail comes because of life and during the trail as we yeild to Christ He can use our circumstance to conform us to HIS image. Thank you for letting me share.

The Hero Within said...

It's true, Christians these days all they want is a free pass, they think once they accept Jesus into their lives all the pain and suffering that may be in their lives will magically disappear into thin air and it's sad to see it happen, but a lot of times when that doesn't happen they think "oh, there's no God, he's so distant." and they turn away just as fast as they came. It's a shame and it's one of my biggest things that trouble me about Christians these days that they live by the name and not by the lifestyle. The bible calls us to be Christ-like, and yet many "Christians" these days still party and do all sorts of bad things and think "Well I'm saved I don't need to stop having a good time and partying" and it's why you can't tell if someones a Christian or not anymore. People think if you wear a cross around your neck and go to church every once in a while that you're a Christian and that's a fools thought. God loves us more than we'll ever imagine with our human minds, but that doesn't mean we get to continue living our lives the way we do and expect all our troubles to go away, since I've been a Christian I've had tons of troubles and I thank God for every single one of them becuase they give me strength through God to get over them and make sure I depend fully on God and not on my own foolish mind and weak strength to get me through things.

mencari kebenaran said...

1 would like to ask you baby..where is the story of jesus when he was at thirteen tiil twentynine years old
in bible??

and the second is when the first time jesus was potreted?
and who was his photograper?
what kind of brand of camera was used?

the third is.. is jesus the GOD OR human being?

1 need your answer as fast as possible..ok

Sharon said...

In actual fact, god isn't real.

Anonymous said...

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4

sunshinecross.com

Anonymous said...

The logic for why to believe in a God is simple and can be visuallized in a quadrant

If there is a God and you believe = eternal bliss + 4

If there is NO God and you believe
= 1 hour wasted in your week 0

If there is a God and you DO NOT believe
= eternal damnation - 4

If there is NO God and you DO NOT believe
= then you were right 0

would you rather have minus 4,0,0, or plus 4???

It is mathematically more beneficial for you to believe in God. If you follow the wisdom in the bible, you may just live a somewhat happy and fruitful life.
www.sunshinecross.com

Michael A. Jones said...

While it's true that it rains on the just and unjust alike, I've found my faith in God's word to be my umbrella!

Robert Winkler Burke said...

Ever notice how people gone thru tribulation... are not self-centered and self-consumed... like most others?


KING SELF MUST DIE!
By Robert Winkler Burke
Of inthatdayteachings.com
Copyright 2006



King Self held court one imperious day
Self said, Hear ye, agree to all I say!
Came reply,
Self must die!
Said something hid out of the way.

How dare you counter my royal command?
Nothing stops great Selves from being grand!
Do not lie!
Self must die!
Said the spirit in stern reprimand.

Anything but die!
Said Self in reply,
How can
Mere man
Kill his lovely I?

Eagles help do it,
They take Self thru’ it:
Getting in
Ripping sin
‘til your heart’s renewed!

You win, said Self
To sin I’m deaf
How know
I go?
My plans I shelf.


The spirit said, Great greetings!
Prepare now for faith meetings
With saints gone before
And angels of lore
And Him who has best seating!

You may think this odd
But to live in you God
Must be!
You see?
To finish Creation’s job.

Now all must be done
Becoming in sum:
Good,
Would
God’s new kingdom come!

Renee said...

I have been going through alot the past couple of years (yes years). I had been through times in the beginning I though well I am in church everytime the door is open, I give my tithes, I give, I read the bible, ect, ect,. I have gone though different times of thinking different things. I have gave to many different charities. I have been on two 21 day fast and others. But I have come to a time where "I feel I am doing something wrong," Because I believe God loves me. And all these things I have referred to is not know God but my "works" I'm doing something wrong and trying to find God. Even when I looked up this site and clicked on it today I was trying to find answers and I did you could have not said it any better than if God had writen it to me. Espically not one hour, one day or even one YEAR... I had been living the Normal life trying to live as normal as all get out. When I lost everything down to living in the Salvation army. Yestday was easter and all I could do was sleep to get away from the depression of not having a home and to spend easter with my children and grandchild. I don't understand except for like you said God is refining me and I rest in that fact because by tribulation and trials hurt to where I want to give up. I tell God that I sometimes fell it is Him Holding Onto Me because I would have already give up. I love him for that. I am really glad you post was here it said everything I needed to hear and was SO acurate. Thank you Bless you

stud_robo said...

God was hand in glove with his own creation, Nature, to make all these happen…Information Exchange..: Mindboggling Facts...

Hanna F-A said...

God bless you sister,
If you want, go and see my blog. I started it just a week ago. I want to praise God through my drawings. preach the word of Jesus! :)
Lots of love!
Hanna

http://care-today.blogspot.com/

Ashley DeMazza said...

I am so glad I found this site. This article so clearly expresses what we must learn as Christians. I am going to share this article with my husband and my daughters. Thank you so much,
Ashley DeMazza

Anonymous said...

Christain men can do mistakes may be their weaknesses or trap of satan .Immedaitely after my marriage when I lived away from wife & PArents/Home IAm tempted by a woman & she wanted sex then IAm tempted & indulged vaginal intercourse condoms the woman provided I felt very bad after the incident she told she is christain single woman also she took my money she told she has male sexual partners.I pray to God protect

Sonny said...

true. we are 'afflicted' with trials and tribulations in order to learn vital lessons from the Lord. Really appreciate your post! Gives me reason to keep on going... to keep the faith and to hold on...

sierraspeaks13 said...

I love love love this(: I believe that God gives us things we can't handle with our own strength so we must rely on His strength and not our own. You should definetly check out my blog! I post a lot about my perspective as a christian!

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