What is pain?


The International Association for the Study of Pain's definition is widely used: "Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience, associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage." In medical diagnosis, pain is considered to be a symptom of an underlying condition.

What does the Bible say about pain?

The word "pain" or a synonym appears more than 70 times in the Scripture. The first use of the word explains the origin of the pain in childbirth: To the woman he said, "I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you." (Genesis 3:16). The context here is that Adam and Eve sinned and the pain of childbirth is one of the consequences of sin. Because of this, the whole earth was cursed and death came on the scene as a result (Romans 5:12). Thus, it can be concluded that pain is one of several results of original sin.

Although it is not specifically stated in the Bible, we medically know that pain is a gift. Without it, we would not know when we need medical care. In fact, the absence of pain is one of the problems associated with leprosy. Children would never learn that touching a hot stove is a bad idea, nor would we be alerted to a dangerous medical condition without the pain associated with it. Spiritually speaking, one of the benefits of pain is mentioned by James: "Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness" (James 1:2-3). According to James, when we endure painful trials, we can rejoice in the knowledge that God is working in our lives to produce resistance and the character of Christ in us. This applies to mental, emotional and spiritual pain, as well as physical pain.

Pain also provides an opportunity for us to experience God's grace. Consider what Paul said: " but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me" (2 Corinthians 12:9). Paul was talking about a "thorn in the flesh" that was bothering him. We do not know what it was, but it seemed to be painful (emotional or physical). However, he acknowledged the presence of God's grace to help him endure. God will give His children the grace to endure the pain.

God helps us in pain. Whether it is physical or emotional pain, God can give the comfort we need. It helps us to overcome pain and keep hope. The pain is not forever (until death perhaps) but the love of God never ends.

Jesus came to help us in pain. He understands our suffering, because He also suffered pain. But Jesus overcame all pain! One day, in Heaven, there will be no more pain or suffering. But until then, Jesus helps us to overcome the pain.

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit 1 Peter 3:18.

God bless you!