Does God Understand My Pain?
Initially, this post was meant to be a Weekly Devo, but as I started writing it, I felt the topic warranted a longer post.
Pain is such a vast subject. It embodies a variety of forms, all of which we may experience at various times. Pain is also universal, it is a sensation familiar to everyone – everywhere.
The question at hand is whether or not God understands our pain. The word understand can take a number of different meanings though. To some, understand (in the context of this question) may mean, “does God know how I am feeling?” To others, understand may mean, “does he grasp the reason why I’m in pain”? Still, others may use understand simply to mean, “does God even care about my pain”?
All valid questions. All deserving of answers.
Don’t Expect It
Before we jump into the thick of it, I think it’s important to acknowledge one thing: we shouldn’t expect pain.
Let me clarify.
There are those that cite passages of scripture pertaining to “suffering” for the cause of Christ, as a justification to live miserable lives expecting pain and suffering. To them, the idea of prosperity and blessing is always overshadowed by the ever looming threat of pain as mentioned in the scriptures.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not denying the existence of passages clearly outlining the reality of sufferings due to ones faith in Christ; however, I will never use that as an excuse to live my life anticipating pain to come knocking at my door at any moment.
As far as I know, pain is inevitable. It’ll show up eventually – guaranteed. But until that time comes, I’ll keep my head up believing and expecting nothing less than God’s blessings.
When Pain Shows Up
So what happens when it does show up? What happens when we’re in turmoil emotionally, physically, mentally, or spiritually?
Where is God? Does He get it? Does He even know what it feels like?
I’ll tell you, it’s awfully easy to feel that He’s disconnected, that His proximity to our pain (or pain in general) is light years away.
But that’s the problem, it’s just a feeling – and feelings can be liars.
Not Out of Touch
14 So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
Hebrews identifies Jesus as our High Priest, one that “understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do“.
I love how The Message translation of the Bible says it, “we don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality, he’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all”.
Think about it – Jesus’ life was anything but smooth. Sure, there were moments of wondrous miracles, but when it came down to it, Jesus experienced temptation, betrayal, abandonment, physical abuse, emotional hurt – all the things we feel.
He’s not out of touch, on the contrary, He’s very familiar with what we feel – in many ways to an even greater extent.
He’s Got What You Need
Hebrews 4:16 continues by saying, “let us come boldly to the throne of our God”. The English Standard Version of the Bible writes, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace”.
Why boldly, or with confidence, you might ask?
Jesus came to this earth for a number of reasons, one of which was to subject Himself to the same (and far greater) pain than we experience. He did this so we may rest assured that in moments of great suffering, we may approach our God – boldly and confidently – that He understands our pain, and is equipped to provide us with the relief we’re searching for.
Simply stated – He’s got what we need.
Hebrews writes, “There [His Throne] we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most“.
Take it to Him
Are you in pain? Are you hurting or depressed? Are you suffering?
There is only one who is well suited to provide you with the comfort you need – and that’s Jesus.
Sadly I believe our inclination is to downplay what He experienced, so we may amplify our own current suffering. However, healing can only be found when we understand He’s experienced our same pain for the sake of providing us with the help we desire.
Does God understand our pain? Absolutely. He’s lived it.
Our hope is thus that we have a God who is not out of touch with our pain, but is instead so familiar with it – we can approach him confidently that He is able to provide us with what we need most.
So take your pain to Him. Take your hurt to him. Take your depression and suffering to him. Only there you’ll find the healing you’ve been looking for.