Chronic Pain: Living Your Faith When Your Body Hurts, pt.2

Chronic Pain: Living Your Faith When Your Body Hurts, pt.1

Now that we are gaining an understanding for ourselves of what pain is and what factors influence our understanding of pain, we need to move forward. We must realize that we are more than just physical beings, that we are spiritual beings as well. (Genesis 2:7; Ecclesiastes 12:7) We experience this life in both physical and spiritual ways. How does this relate to the issue of pain? We continue in our summary of this valuable resource from CCEF by asking, what is God’s perspective of pain?

God’s Perspective of Pain:

Pain entered the world as a result of sin. Sin had expressed, definite consequences, including pain and death. We are able to quickly grasp the physical problems that sin cause, but we need to also understand that pain is a spiritual problem as well.

  • Physical pain entered the world because of sin, so the experience of physical pain is a direct effect of the disobedience of Adam and Eve.
    • If you are suffering from Chronic Pain, or are counseling someone with Chronic Pain, realize that the pain you are in is not necessarily a direct result of your personal sin.
    • Pain still needs to be understood in the context of the larger picture of sin and redemption that Jesus brings.
    • So how does this help you in your pain?
      • This frees you to pursue options for pain reduction and relief. You aren’t forced to “carry” the weight of Chronic Pain due to some sort of punishment
      • This gives you hope because of the realization that Jesus is powerful over sin, pain, death and the grave. Someday you will be free from pain as a child of God.
      • Lastly, you have a suffering Savior who understands intense physical agony and who endured it well for the ultimate joy set before him: the victory of his resurrection.
  • Pain is a spiritual issue because the physical pain you are experiencing forces you to respond either rightly or sinfully.
    • This is one of the hardest aspects of being a sufferer of Chronic Pain. You must choose how to respond to the pain on a day to day basis, sometimes a moment by moment basis. Our response comes directly from our perspective.
      • Human / Self-oriented Perspective responses:
        • “I must get rid of this pain at all costs”
        • “God must be punishing me”
        • “God owes me an easier life”
        • “I can’t do what God has called me to do because of this unrelenting pain”
        • These responses, and others like them, will lead us quickly to feelings of fear, anxiety, anger, bitterness, self-pity, and despair that can actually make our pain experience worse.
      • God-oriented Perspective responses:
        • “God provides the resources I need each day to persevere”
        • “God understands the depth of my pain”
        • “I don’t understand why God won’t take the pain away, but I lean on His faithfulness and love to me through Jesus Christ”
        • These responses, and others like them, will lead us quickly to feelings of joy, hope, perseverance, and others-centeredness in the midst of our pain.

Our belief or unbelief in the character and promises of God will alter our pain experience for better or for worse.

One of the biggest lessons I have learned in suffering with Chronic Pain is learning to apply the Gospel message to my experience. The future becomes more precious. I long for the day when I am not distracted by physical pain in my worship of my Savior. Recognizing that he has a plan and purpose for me, in the pain, helps me to live moment by moment. Knowing that he is powerful enough to stop the pain at any time of his choosing, helps me realize that if I am in pain, he is giving me grace to persevere through the pain. Spiritual truths don’t make you stop hurting, but they do give you strength to suffer well for Christ.

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