God Understands Our Pain
A cut, broken arm or bruise may hurt in the moment but often heal after a short period of time. Whether it is the lost of a loved one, battling cancer, or divorce, many of us are struggling with internal battles of pain and suffering. For Christians those experiences are often intensified with the theological questions of, “If God loves me, why am I experiencing this pain?” “How could an all-knowing God allow for this to happen?” We can’t wait for you to check out Pastor Jon Weece’s book, Me Too: Experience the God Who Understands. Weece is the lead pastor at Southland Christian Church, a community of 14,000 Christ-followers in Lexington, Kentucky. Weece takes a unique perspective in that he says it is okay to be bothered by pain. In the book, he helps readers to understand that while God did not create or cause pain, He wants to end it.
“And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:2-5
Weece shares in his book, “Pain is the common language of the human experience. Most people I know are fluent in suffering. They speak it, but they don’t understand it. One of the ways people begin to heal is to sit across the table from someone who can say, ‘Me too.’”
One of the things that we appreciated about Weece’s book is that he used personal stories to show that there is hope for suffering. Oftentimes in Christian circles, the antidote for pain is to slap a Bible verse on it. However, while we all know that God loves us and didn’t intend for us to experience pain and suffering, sometimes the practicality of weathering the storm is easier said than done. It is helpful to draw from other people’s experiences of how they endured their painful situation.
“Too many people suffer alone. And most people who suffer alone aren’t looking for answers, but a friend – a friend who understands. When we suffer alone we die, but Jesus came to suffer with us and suffer for us,” Weece adds.
Pain and suffering surrounds us. If it does not affect us directly, it surely affects us personally through our friends and family. No one is immune to pain and unfortunately the majority of us do not know how to respond to it. “Two-thirds of divorces are initiated by women,” said William Doherty a marriage therapist and professor of family social science at University of Minnesota. According to National Cancer Institute, in 2015, an estimated 1,658,370 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 589,430 people will die from the disease. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reports that 42,773 Americans die from suicide each year and is the tenth leading cause of death.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4
Weece shares in his book, “When divorces divides your family, when a loved one commits suicide, when cancer claims a close friend, when you lose your job, it is easy to lose perspective. We have a Father who paid a high price to rid the world of suffering- suffering he didn’t create and suffering he didn’t cause. Suffering that breaks his heart. And he did it because he loves us. I don’t know a dad who wants to see his kids suffer. And that’s what this book is about: an eternal Father who specializes in wiping tears away, and the people he uses to help him.”
While the statistics and painful situations can be overwhelming, God wants us to turn to Him for hope. He wants to speak His peace, His truth, and His guidance into our lives through the Holy Spirit and through others. For those of us that have weathered a trying time, He wants us to share what we learned with others, comfort them and support them. It might even provide a platform to share about how you became a Christian and God’s unfailing love. We love how Weece shares about our Heavenly Father who wants to wipe our tears away. Whether it is through this book or another resource, we pray that you would allow God to heal your painful situation.
- Are you going through a painful circumstance? We encourage you to reach out to a friend, loved one or professional counselor and process it with them. The enemy wants you to believe the lie that you are alone and that you deserve to be going through the pain. But God’s truth is that He loves you, He has people around you that can help, and He hurts just as much as you do to see you suffer. Sometimes it helps to write down first what you want to share.
- Take a moment and ask those around you how they are doing. Someone might need a listening ear or a fresh perspective on the suffering they are experiencing. Be willing to make a meal, give a ride or run an errand for a friend in need. God has given us the body of Christ to help us to bear one another’s burdens.
- Ask God if there is someone he wants you to share your painful experience with. It might be one person, a small group, or a large audience. Remember you don’t have to be completely through it to share what you are learning along the way. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit for the words to share. Often times, there is healing through the process of sharing.
To check out Jon Weece’s book, Me Too: Experience the God Who Understands
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