Isaiah 41:10 – God strengthens you – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. God has promised us His strength. He will never give you a trial you are unable to handle.
- 0.1 What is a good Bible verse for strength and healing?
- 1 How do you pray for pain relief?
- 2 Which psalm is a prayer for healing?
- 2.1 How do I pray to God for healing?
- 2.2 How do you pray for strength in difficult times?
- 2.3 How do you surrender your pain to God?
- 2.4 How do I pray to Jesus for healing?
- 3 What does God do with our pain?
- 4 What is God’s purpose for suffering?
- 5 What did Jesus have to say about suffering?
- 6 Is pain a blessing from God?
What the Bible says about pain and suffering?
My favorite Bible verses about finding Purpose in Pain — Nothing Is Wasted I’m not normally one to cherry-pick verses from the Bible. I believe there is usually much more richness to be experienced in understanding entire passages and their context. I guess this is why I love preaching and teaching.
I want people to experience those “aha” moments where a verse or a passage becomes more real and relevant to them than ever before. However, there are definitely some verses that I keep logged in my memory bank—or hidden in my heart, if you will. These verses help me in times of distress and emotional unrest.
These verses keep me focused on God’s promises rather than my problems. I would encourage you to also memorize these. Keep them close to you. Put them on your phone background screen. Write them on sticky notes and hang them on your mirror so you can see them first thing in the morning.
I pray they encourage your heart and lift your head today! Isaiah 30:20-21 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.1 Peter 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Philippians 4:5b-7 The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.2 Cor 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
- Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.1 Peter 1:6-7 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
- These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
James 1:12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. Romans 5:3-5 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 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
Psalm 30:5b Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.2 Chronicles 16:9a For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.
Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, Phil 1:6 being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Hosea 2:14-15 “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her.
There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. Matthew 7:24-25 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
What the Bible says about pain and healing?
There are many reasons you could be wondering “What is a good Bible verse for healing?” In times of sickness, you could be seeking a powerful healing prayer, or perhaps you are looking for a comforting message for healing the mind during times of stress.
You may even be looking for help with healing a broken heart, No matter what brought you here, rest assured that we found powerful Bible verse about healing to help you on your journey. Going through a period of healing can be confusing and frustrating. Whether you’re overcoming an illness or injury or mourning the loss of a loved one, you can sometimes feel stuck with no way out.
In times like these, it’s helpful to know that you are not alone. While there is no finite timeline for recovery, eventually you will reach the other side, and these quotes to celebrate new beginnings will help get you there. Times of healing are also great opportunities for growth, whether that’s emotional, spiritual, or physical.
You might find more helpful messages in Bible verses about hope or Bible verses about patience, We’ve found that one of the most helpful places to look for optimistic encouragement through periods of healing is the Bible. So we’ve rounded up some of our favorite verses that will lead you to feel more hopeful in your time of healing.
“Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint. Heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.” “The Lord sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness.” “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” 5 Wisdom of Solomon 16:12 “It wasn’t any herb or ointment that healed them but your word alone, Lord, which heals everything.” “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings.
You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.” “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” “Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.” “This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.” “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” “A healing heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” “My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings.
Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.” “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.” “The Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous.” “Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water.
I will take away sickness from among you.” “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” “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.” “The is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: ‘I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you.'” “Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.” “And the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.” “‘But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the Lord.” “Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish.
In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.” “‘I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will guide them and restore comfort to Israel’s mourners, creating praise on their lips. Peace, peace, to those far and near,’ says the Lord, ‘And I will heal them.'” “He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” “He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.” “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.” “He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you.
Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.'” “Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.”
What is a good Bible verse for strength and healing?
10 Bible Verses for Healing and Strength Two weeks ago our family woke up to a 7.1 earthquake that shook our whole house. The earthquake lasted only 30 seconds but it felt like forever. Funny thing about an earthquake. It makes you realize how secure your pictures are on the wall and your foundation is.
- Earthquakes really shake things up! The same thing occurs in our lives as well.
- When trials and tragedy enter our lives they really shake things up! What do you do when things get shaken up? You cling to what you know.
- Whatever you are going through know that God loves you, you matter and you are priceless to him.
I am so glad God is in the restoration business to keep me grounded when storms come my way. We all fall upon hard times. I pray whatever you are going through, you will find healing in God’s truth and promises for you. Praying these verses over your life can help protect you against the enemy of doubt and discouragement.
God’s love and truth is bigger than anything in this world. Let his words comfort you and lift you up as you are going through your trials. Here are 10 Bible Verses to help provide you the Healing and Strength you need when going through hard times- 1. Isaiah 58:8-9 “Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the lord will answer; you will cry for help and he will say; Here am I.” 2. Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
- 3. Isaiah 40:31 “For those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
- They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” 4.
- Psalm 18:39 “You armed me with strength, for battle; you made my adversaries bow at my feet.” 5.
- Psalm 34:17-20 “The righteous cry out, and the lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are rushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.” 6. Psalm 6:2-4 “Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am faint; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony.
- My soul is in anguish.
- How long, O Lord, How long? Turn, O Lord, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love.” 7.
- Psalm 121:1 “I lift up my eyes to the hills- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” 8.
- Psalm 147:3-5 “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars and called them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.” 9. Psalm 103:2-5 “Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like eagles.” 10.
Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” You do not have to go through this alone. Enlist others to pray for you. Stay constantly and consistently in prayer. Make a Prayer/War Room to write down your Prayers.
Write your Prayers in a journal. Prayer is the most important time investment you can make when going through hard times. God loves you. He will not waste your pain. What the enemy intends for evil, God uses it for good (Genesis 50:20). He will turn your pain into something beautiful! May the God of Hope Fill you with Peace as You Trust in Him! (Romans 15:13).
I pray that God will fill you with the Peace and Hope your heart desires. Join me over the next few weeks as I complete a series on Healing. How does God heal you, How does he turn your pain into something better and Where do I find Places of healing? Stay updated with upcoming posts by or Like my where I make weekly posts.
I would love to hear from you! Have these Bible verses helped and encouraged you? What Bible Verses bring you healing and strength? Leave Comments Below! : 10 Bible Verses for Healing and Strength
How do you pray for pain relief?
Healing For My Long Time Illness – Grand Spirit Thank You for being with me through all the ups and downs of my life and for the many blessings that You have given me for which I praise and thank You. You know the illness that I have been struggling with for a long time now and that there is little that seems to be able to be done by the medical profession – but I believe that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and that You know every part of my body.
You know exactly why I have been ill for so long. I come to You now asking that You would work a full recovery in my body – whatever is causing this persistent problem. I pray that You would, in Your mercy, give me back the health and strength I need. Guide me along the path that You have planned for me.
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What Bible verse is for healing?
We are confident that healing is for everyone as Exodus 15:26 tells us that God is ‘the Lord who heals us’. Isaiah 53:4-5, Matthew 8:17 and 1 Peter 2:24 tell us that Jesus, on the Cross, bore our sicknesses and carried our pains, in order to remove them from us and ‘by His stripes we have been healed’.
- We know that Jesus has purchased full healing for each individual as much as He has provided forgiveness for every sin.
- Declare these scriptures over your life and believe for healing.
- Exodus 15:26 NIV If you listen carefully to the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.
Exodus 23:25b-26 NKJV And I will take sickness away from the midst of you. No one shall suffer miscarriage or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days. Psalm 103:2-3 NKJV Bless the Lord O my soul and forget not all His benefits; Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases.
Isaiah 53:4-5 AMP Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains (of punishment) And with the stripes (that wounded) Him we are healed and made whole.1 Peter 2:24 NKJV who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.
Matthew 8:17 AMP He Himself took (in order to carry away) our weaknesses and infirmities and bore away our diseases. Psalm 107:20 NKJV He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Proverbs 4:20-23 NKJV My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings.
- Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.
- Eep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.
- James 5:14-15 NKJV Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Isaiah 38:16 AMP O Lord, by these things men live, a nd in all these is the life of my spirit; r estore me to health and let me live! Healing Services are held on the first Sunday of every month at C3 Oxford Falls and C3 Silverwater, from 12-1pm.
What is the most powerful healing prayer in the Bible?
Heavenly Father, I thank You for loving me. I thank You for sending Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to the world to save and to set me free. I trust in Your power and grace that sustain and restore me. Loving Father, touch me now with Your healing hands, for I believe that Your will is for me to be well in mind, body, soul and spirit. Cover me with the Most Precious Blood of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, from the top of my head to the soles of my feet. Cast anything that should not be in me. Root out any unhealthy and abnormal cells. Open any blocked arteries or veins and rebuild and replenish any damaged areas. Remove all inflammation and cleanse any infection by the power of Jesus’ Precious Blood. Let the fire of Your healing love pass through my entire body to heal and make new any diseased areas so that my body will function the way You created it to function. Touch also my mind and my emotion, even the deepest recesses of my heart. Saturate my entire being with Your presence, love, joy, and peace and draw me ever closer to You every moment of my life. And Father, fill me with Your Holy Spirit and empower me to do Your works so that my life will bring glory and honor to Your Holy Name. I ask this in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Is pain a blessing from God?
Pain is not only a necessity but also a blessing, because it warns us, corrects us, guides us, and brings us to Jesus. Pain can be a blessing in many different ways, and the first is as a warning system.
Which psalm is a prayer for healing?
Psalm 119:8 Prays that God Would Heal the Sick – I want to lead us to pray for Hayden and I want us to pray Psalm 119, verse 8. I will keep your statutes; do not utterly forsake me. God, we pray right now for Hayden. God, we plead on his behalf. We pray, God, that you would heal his body, that you would miraculously move.
- God, we’re asking for that.
- God, that you would do that which only you can do.
- We are asking for you God, to enable him to wake up, be able to breathe on his own.
- We’re asking you, God, for full and total brain and body function, for a miracle that astounds doctors.
- So, God, we plead for that.
- God, we pray for comfort for Hayden and Nicole’s 10 kids.
God, we pray that they would know you were with them. They would know that you have not forsaken their dad and you have not forsaken them. You’re not forsaking their mom. God, we pray that you would bless Nicole. We pray that you would strengthen her. We pray that you would continually strengthen her with your word just like we see all over Psalm 119 that your word would be her strength, her rock, her foundation, your promises, your purposes.
How do I pray to God for healing?
Prayer for healing and strength – (for a family loved one such as a son or daughter) Dear God, Lift him/her high on eagles wings, fill his mind with your truth and cover his heart with hope. Protect him always, may he feel safe and secure besides you.
Walk with him through each moment. Come be strength when he feels weak, be counsel when he needs comfort. Help him to rest, to lay down when he needs to and allow others to take the strain. I pray that throughout this hard time he may know our love for him and Your love for him. Amen. (a prayer for healing from www.lords-prayer-words.com) • related reading – read this page for several prayers on finding strength in God Gathered together in this section of the website are several prayers for physical and mental health and healing.
If you are a parent or carer who currently has a sick child, you may find this page helpful which contains short prayers for poorly children. If you are awaiting surgery at the moment, there is a page here with two prayers you can pray and a film on God’s peace to meditate on. (a guide with reference to records of healings in the Acts of the Apostles) When it comes to seeking God for healing, a good place to start is by reading the Acts of the Apostles. This book records many incidents of healing carried out by the early disciples, and reminds us that not only was Jesus able to do extraordinary miracles and wonders, but so too were his followers.
Here are three incidents of healing which point to different ways in which this gift may be practised:- • In the Acts of the Apostles, such was the presence of God on the Apostle Peter that healings broke out simply by the passing of his shadow across peoples bodies:- “Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.
As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed”.
Acts 5:14-16, (NIV) Some Christians today practise this phenomena, such as the street healer Tom Fischer who claims that people are healed simply by them standing in his shadow, At other times, items of clothing became ‘conduits’ for healing. For example, aprons that had been touched by the Apostle Paul were passed on to others for them to receive God’s healing:- “God gave Paul the power to work great miracles.
People even took handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched Paul’s body, and they carried them to everyone who was sick. All of the sick people were healed, and the evil spirits went out”. (Acts 19:11-12, CEV) If you are unable (or it is inappropriate) to pray with somebody for their healing in their presence, it may be worth considering praying over something that can be passed on to them, such as a scarf or card or gift.
- For the person that needs healing, this will be a physical reminder to them that they have people who care about them and are praying for them.
- On another occasion, Peter and John address a crippled beggar and command him to get up to his feet and walk.
- Peter took him by the hand and the man was healed.
( Acts 3:1-10 ) Note here that Peter does not directly pray to God – rather it is a declaration made to the sick man in the authority of Christ – “In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!” (Acts 3:6 NLT ) Notice that all three healing incidents occur alongside a physical act – the shadows of the disciples, aprons and handkerchiefs, and hand to hand contact.
- In the book of James, James exhorts the church leaders to pray for those in need of healing by anointing the sick with oil – another physical act.
- James 5:14 ) The dramatic nature and number of healings, miracles and wonders in the early church was truly remarkable ( Acts 5:12-16 ).
- It worth noting the context of this extraordinary outpouring.
The disciples are filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4) and healings broke out in the context of an early church community that shared their possessions, gave to those in need, and were united in the breaking of bread and prayer (Acts 2:42-47). Our prayers lay the track down on which God’s power can come.
Like a mighty locomotive, his power is irresistible, but it cannot reach us without rails. Watchman Nee (1903 –1972), Chinese Church leader & Christian teacher. Prayer for healing for a friend O Lord, my friend is so special, They mean so much to me. We’ve walked together for so long, No closer could we be.
O Lord, please give them healing, Restore them day by day. Renew their hope and dry their tears, Answer them when they pray. O Lord, you are our Saviour, Our strength when we are weak. Your light is hope within our hearts, When the day is bleak. O Lord, I put my faith in you, I trust you’ll heal my friend.
How do you pray for strength in difficult times?
Prayers for comfort – Heavenly Father, I feel alone, beaten up, tears fill my eyes, I toss and turn at night. Words can’t express the ache in my heart. I feel pain every day. I pray to you as I am desperate for help. I need to know that you care, that you love me, be my refuge from pain, replacing my distress with peace, and be my strength when I feel weak and find it hard to carry on.
- Help me not to fear the future but to boldly trust that you are in control when my emotions plunge me down, and when I am in despair.
- And times when I can’t talk and don’t know what to say, help me to “Be still, and know that you are God”.
- Be my comforter, my healer and bring me peace.
- In Jesus’ name, Amen.
God, help me accept the things I can’t change, give me the courage to change the things I can, and give me the wisdom to know the difference. Amen Bible reference:
How do you pray for a sick person?
Heavenly Father, giver of life and health: Comfort and relieve your sick servant, and give your power of healing to those who minister to his needs, that he may be strengthened in his weakness and have confidence in your loving care; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
How do we find God in times of pain?
Finding God in Pain – The stories of the Bible are filled with the pain and suffering of God’s people. The book of Psalms includes 42 psalms of lament. But a consistent message of scripture is that—even during the most painful times— God was with his people,
How do you surrender your pain to God?
How to Surrender to God’s Will When You’re in Pain by Rick Warren — October 21, 2020 “Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Mark 14:36 (NIV) To have the mind of Christ means you want to do God’s will, even when it’s painful, even when it’s difficult, even when it seems impossible.
Jesus gave us the ultimate example of this the night before he went to the cross. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was in agony knowing the pain he was going to face the next day—not just the physical pain but the emotional and spiritual pain of being separated from his Father as he carried the shame and weight of our sin.
Even then, Jesus prayed, “Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36 NIV). In Gethsemane, Jesus said that he wanted to do God’s will, not his own, even if it was painful. Any time you’re in pain, pray the Garden of Gethsemane prayer.
- There are three parts to it.
- The first part is faith.
- Jesus believed God had the power to change his situation.
- You can pray that, too.
- Whatever kind of situation you’re going through right now, you can start by praying in faith, “God, I know you’ve got the power to change this.” Then ask God for his help.
It’s appropriate to say, “God, I’m asking for your help. I’m in a lot of pain right now, and I need some relief. I’m asking for you to do a miracle. I know you have the power to change the situation, and I’m asking you to do it.” The third part of the Gethsemane prayer is surrender, and its key to learning to have the mind of Christ.
Pray like Jesus did: “Lord, even though I’m asking you to take away the pain, I surrender to you. More than anything else, even more than relief, I want your will, not mine.” Are you ready to say that to God in your hour of greatest need? When you do, you show your spiritual maturity and trust in God to continue to provide for you and use your trouble for good.
Talk It Over
If you knew that tomorrow you would face your biggest trial in life, what would you pray to God today? Do you believe that God has the power to change your worst situation? How do your prayers reflect what you believe? In what other ways did Jesus model for us how to surrender to God?
: How to Surrender to God’s Will When You’re in Pain
How do I pray to Jesus for healing?
Prayer for Healing the Sick – Lord Jesus, thank you that you love, I know that you hate what their illness is doing to them/me. I ask, in the name of Jesus, that you would heal this disease, that you would have compassion and bring healing from all sickness. God, I thank you that belongs to you and that you are in control of everything that happens from our first breath to our last sigh. – Wendy Van Eyck
What is the prayer of faith that will heal the sick?
James 5:14-15 has always been a difficult text for me: James 5:14-15a NIV Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. The promise of healing described here — “the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well” — collides with the reality we face in praying for sick people who regularly aren’t healed. Adding to the problem, in the face of those unanswered prayers, we wonder if the prayer wasn’t offered “in faith.” Maybe, then, it was our fault.
The prayer wasn’t answered because we didn’t have enough faith. In light of those issues, what recently struck me about this text is the moral and confessional context of the entire passage. That confessional context pushes back on how the NIV translates the word “well” in 5:15. The literal word is “save,” the word that is typically used to describe God saving us from sin.
So here is a more literal reading of the same passage from the ASV including the entirety of 5:15: James 5:14-15 Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save him that is sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, it shall be forgiven him.
Looking at the whole context you could plausibly make the case that the prayers of the elders described here are focused upon spiritual healing. The prayer of faith with “save” the sick. Because if the sick person has committed sins these will be forgiven. Even the phrase “the Lord shall rise him up” can be taken in a spiritual light as this is the same term used to describe resurrection.
And the spiritual focus on confession and the restoration of sinners continues in the very next verse: James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
- Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
- To be sure, the healing here may be physical, but the ailment is connected to a moral infirmity: the remedy is clearly the confession of sins.
- The “powerful and effective prayer” of the righteous is, thus, connected to the “confession of sins.” Powerful and effective in what way? Well, the text goes on to talk about Elijah: James 5:17-18 Elijah was a human being, even as we are.
He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. Like with the prayer for the sick, taken out of context this text is often cited as an example of the powerful and miraculous effects of prayer.
- Prayer for the rain to stop or start.
- But once again the text shifts away from the “miraculous” and back toward the moral and confessional: James 5:19-20 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
In short, it seems that “powerful and effective” prayer has less to do with stopping rain than with the restoration of sinners, saving them from death and covering over a multitude of sins. Overall, then, the focus on healing from 5:14 to 5:20 seems to be more spiritual than physical, more focused on the restoration that comes from confession.
Let me edit the passage to make it more compact: The prayer of faith shall save him that is sick, and the Lord shall raise him up, and if he have committed sins, it shall be forgiven him. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
None of this is to deny that there is a medical or physical aspect to the text. But it seems clear to me that the focus of the text is less about praying for miraculous healing than upon confession and the healing/resurrecting of sinners. Richard Beck is professor and department chair of psychology at Abilene Christian University.
What does God do with our pain?
How Does God Use Our Pain? – One way for good is to draw people closer to Christ.2 Corinthians 7:10, “For God sometimes uses sorrow in our lives to help us turn away from sin and seek eternal life.” So, what does that mean for us? The next sentence says, “We should never regret His sending it.” God also uses pain to make us more like Jesus.
Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” God uses all things, even painful things, for our good. In verse 29, we get God’s definition of “good.” He defines good as conforming us to the likeness of his son.
God wants to work in your pain to make you more like Jesus. That means your pain is never in vain. He works in ALL things to produce Christ-like maturity. Like the loving father who allows his child to get a painful vaccination shot, God allows pain because he knows it’s for our greater good.
Perhaps God allows cancer to teach us to value what is eternal. God may allow the difficult boss to teach us self-control. God might allow unemployment to teach us faith. God might allow a colicky baby to teach us patience.
He doesn’t cause all things, but he does cause them to work together for our good. We come out on the other side of it looking a little more like Jesus.
What is the spiritual purpose of pain?
Before the advent of modern pain management interventions, pain was seen as a natural part of life, carrying a variety of religious, cultural, and societal meanings. It has been argued that when ether and chloroform were introduced into obstetrics in the 19th century, pain became a medical matter that lost much of its spiritual meaning in the medical community.
- The connection between pain management and spirituality emphasizes how faith can reduce anxiety, stress, and negative thoughts and aid in pain practitioners’ attempts to relieve and eliminate pain.
- But recent scholarship and research have rediscovered a relationship between spirituality and pain that has been widely misunderstood and is more difficult to address—when people voluntarily endure pain, even refuse pain medications—for religious or spiritual reasons (Glucklich, 1999, 2001).
On the surface, patients’ refusal of pain interventions may appear linked to medical misinformation or concerns about addiction and/or psychopathology. But their refusal may reflect deeper spiritual and religious beliefs that need to be properly assessed and included in the patient’s plan of care.
The Spiritual Meaning of Pain As recently as the 19th century, James Young Simpson, the founder of obstetric anesthesia, unknowingly fell into religious territory as people of faith debated whether pain relief was a sign of God’s grace or modern man’s attempt to avoid the natural consequences of original sin (which is intended to draw us closer to God).
Those interested in character development argued pain was a door to spiritual and moral growth. Women’s rights advocates, while in favor of obstetric pain relief, feared narcotics and sedation would add to the already patriarchal power structures of the medical establishment.
- And the growing religious temperance movement promoted the first “Just Say No” movement against any substance that would alter one’s sense of reality (Caton, 1999).
- In the end, mainstream religious thought overwhelmingly promoted pain relief with strong theological and religious support.
- Anesthesia and other approaches to pain management have flourished, especially in Western medicine, but the seeds of doubt, questioning of scientific promises, and deep religious convictions still remain strong, especially among more conservative people of faith.
In fact, some have even questioned whether the advent of pain management has given a new, even extreme spiritual meaning to pain—that it is “evil and must be eliminated” (Mander, 2000). The American Pain Society has outlined five spiritual components of pain as follows: Five Spiritual Interpretations of Pain1 Is pain evil? Is it inherently bad? Can anything good come from pain? And is that potential good worth enduring the pain? In my work as a hospital chaplain and member of a pain management committee, I have worked with religious people who refuse pain medications for spiritual reasons.
They find deep religious significance in their pain. I have found their understanding of pain generally falls into one or more of the following categories that have been considered “normal” throughout religious history: Pain as Punishment. Pain as a form of divine punishment is perhaps the first place of our minds go in our attempt to reconcile physical pain and religious imagery.
The connection is not without theological precedent. Theologians and spiritual caregivers regularly acknowledge “God’s punishment” as one of the ways the presence of pain has been traditionally understood by religious adherents (Moss, 1996; Conwill, 1986).
People of Eastern faiths such as Hinduism have long believed pain and suffering in this life are a result of sin and misdeeds in previous lives. And though modern scholarship downplays the connection between punishment, sin, and physical pain, traditional Islam, Judaism, and Christianity have always understood some direct relationship between pain and punishment.
This is clearly seen in debates about whether anesthesia should be used for laboring women, since pain was perceived to be the curse for Eve’s disobedience recorded in Genesis 3:15-16. (Cohen, 1996) But punishment is not always punitive. Many Christians, citing Hebrews 11:7-11, see pain and suffering as potentially educational.
- Divine discipline” or “divine chastisement” sees the infliction of pain, suffering, or “hardship” (as the text reads) as God’s desire to train a person, similar to the traditional parental discipline of spanking.
- John, a 58-year-old diabetic patient, lay in pain caused by a necrotic toe, which he believed was the result of his “backslidden” relationship with God.
Quoting Deuteronomy, Chapter 26, which refers to the blessings of obedience and the curses of disobedience, John spoke of how he felt the flare-up of his diabetes was connected to his “spiritual disobedience” and his noncompliance. John saw his hospitalization as a corrective punishment for sin that brought him into closer fellowship with his God.
Pain as an Opportunity for Transcendence. I asked a friend, an elder of a large Evangelical church, about his prolonged recovery from knee surgery. He said he was fine, but admitted he was not taking all the pain medications he had been prescribed. He said, “A little pain is good for the soul.” While most mainline religious faiths advise against suffering and encourage the use of pain medications when needed, they also recognize the potential for spiritual transformation through pain.
In a 1984 papal address at St. Peter’s Bascilica in Rome, Pope John Paul II said, “Suffering seems to belong to man’s transcendence: It is one of those points in which man is in a certain sense ‘destined’ to go beyond himself, and he is called to this in a mysterious way.” Monks, mystics, and martyrs have long seen pain as a way of breaking from this life to experience another.
- It is not odd that some people in the modern world might still use pain for such purposes.
- The best example of the use of pain in modern health care is in our labor and delivery rooms.
- A new mother writes, “I am no masochist; I have been known to cry over cuts, menstrual cramps, and even spilt milk.
- Childbirth is pain like none of those, nor is it like any other pain I have had.I had no need or desire to end or diminish the sensations of birth.
It was exhilaration to be part of a primal experience. I was caught up in the desire to know each moment; to discover the unique progression of events leading to the entrance of a new being—or is it ‘exit’? Not only me, but no one else can have that time again.
It was an opportunity” (Caldwell, 1981). Pain as Test or Competition. Marie, a 28-year-old Vietnamese-American woman, chose natural childbirth to give birth to her son. While intending to give birth “as God intended” (meaning without medical intervention) and later viewing the experience as an opportunity for transcendence, her primary motivation for voluntarily enduring the pain of labor was more to test her own limits and prove to herself and to others that she was not a weak-willed person.
“I want to see what I can handle,” she said, speaking of the modern world’s overemphasis on personal comfort and convenience. For those who choose it, voluntarily enduring pain becomes an opportunity to discover one’s own limits and potential and connect with one’s self on the most intimate level.
- Pain as Atonement.
- While the strongest image of pain as atonement comes from the Christian tradition of Jesus’ painful crucifixion for the atonement of humanity’s sin, other religions and cultures also believe in the redemptive value of pain and suffering.
- Suki, a 62-year-old Sri Lankan woman recovering from abdominal surgery, told me she believed her pain was helping many deceased friends and family pass into the next life.
And we only need go back 100 years to the Native American sun dance to see an indigenous example of pain as atonement. Before being outlawed in 1904, those practicing this ritual attached themselves to large poles with hooks or eagle talons, and, symbolizing death and rebirth, captivity and freedom, and illness and healing, painfully pulled themselves from the hooks’ flesh-piercing grip.
- Manny Twofeathers wrote, “I prayed to the Creator to give me strength, to give me courage.
- I was doing it for my children.
- When I stood up, I did feel pain.
- I felt pain, but I also felt that closeness with the Creator.
- I felt like crying for all the people who needed my prayers.
- I prayed they could get enough to eat.
I prayed for all the people who are sick in the world. It brought tears to my eyes.the pain did not compare to what I was receiving from this sacred experience.” (Glucklich, 2001). Pain as Gaining or Retaining Control. Physical pain and themes of control and power are intimately connected.
Buddhist monks practiced self-immolation in Vietnam for social protest; Filipino Catholics of Pampanga engage in self-crucifixions reflecting historical fights for social and religious control; and a cursory survey of psychological literature reveals the relationship between self-hurting and young American girls.
Martha, a 53-year-old Christian Scientist patient, was admitted to the oncology unit of a hospital. While visibly in pain, she refused morphine and other medications that would relieve the pain caused by the tumor growing inside her. She struggled to hold onto the faith of her youth, which taught her that matter is an illusion and that illness and pain are products of the mind.
She recalled the words of Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the Christian Science Church and author of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” which proposes a spiritual approach to healing without modern medicine and is essential reading for followers of Christian Science. In 1996, Eddy wrote, “When your belief in pain ceases, the pain stops; for matter has no intelligence of its own.
The full understanding that God is Mind, and that matter is but a belief, enables you to control pain.” For Martha, to treat her pain with medications would be to acknowledge that the pain (and illness) exists. Such a belief would be a renouncing of her faith.
For this devout, conflicted woman, enduring pain and refusing its elimination through medical means was a way to regain control and preserve her faith. The Idea of Voluntary Pain Why would someone want to be in pain when they don’t have to be? The idea of voluntarily enduring pain for religious or spiritual reasons should not alarm us.
We need only reflect for a moment to consider the times we all have voluntarily engaged in an activity we knew would be painful—from getting tattoos to running marathons, from childbirth to the voluntary emotional pain of psychotherapy. Ultimately, pain is not the goal of those who refuse pain medications or engage in voluntary pain.
There are higher goals—goals that may be unattainable without pain. It is odd to think there could be goals higher than painlessness. Even in the labor and delivery units, one of the last acceptable healthcare venues of voluntary pain, the idea of accepting pain rather than relieving it is often viewed with confusion.
Perhaps this shows how far we have come as a society in which the absence of pain is the chief good or ultimate value to us. As Donald Caton (1999) records in his historical treatment of the rise of anesthesia and modern pain medications, the social meaning of pain has changed.
- When patients refuse pain medications in healthcare settings, a dialogue about the meaning of pain that allows us to respond in meaningful, thoughtful, and compassionate ways should stir within us.
- As healers, we are compelled to do all we can while valuing individual faith, patient autonomy, and choice.
Our professional response to people in pain should create in us a desire to care for patients’ bodies and spirits. We must question our own “theology of pain” and recognize the value of struggle, sorrow, and pain in a culture that places such an emphasis on comfort, happiness, and painlessness.
- In a climate so open to spiritual growth, we will do well to acknowledge and explore the potentially disturbing circumstances under which spiritual growth may occur—pain being one such circumstance.
- Thus John Cusik reviewed the literature to date and portrayed the state of the art of pain practice.2 I would like to explore further the ways in which pain might act as a stimulant to spiritual growth and thus afford our patients ways in seeing pain in a more positive manner.
Nathan Kollar articulated in his work a spirituality of pain as follows:3 “No sane person desires pain, yet we cannot do without pain. Pain can turn us into mock images of ourselves, yet we need the warning signs of pain to prevent us from further harm to ourself.
No one lives without some pain. Many, especially the frail elderly, live a life of incarnate pain. Until this century people had no choice about how much and how long they had to endure pain. Today, in the industrialized West, we do have a choice because we have developed a significant amount of pain control.
Our Christian traditions and spiritualities come from a time when there were few choices about pain. These spiritualities took for granted not only that we could not do without pain but that we could do nothing about the pain we experienced except pray.
Is it possible today to have a pain-free spirituality? Must our spirituality generally choose pain over non-pain? What is the role of pain in our spiritual life? How do we deal with expected as well as unexpected pain? Before answering these questions we must recognize the nature of pain. THE EXPERIENCE AND LANGUAGE OF PAIN “Pain is more than a physical reaction to a physical stimulus.
It is the body’s response to our involvement with significant change. The change may be physical – a rampaging cancer or stubbed toe; emotional – an inability to love or be loved; social – a sense of alienation from one’s friends; mental – an inability to understand what is happening.
Pain is the way our body warns us that significant change is occurring. We know that this change may be for the better a new tooth, friend, involvement, idea; or for the worse – our last tooth, the death of a dear friend, or an idea resulting in the destruction of the environment. Pain is never neutral.
It announces the advent of the good and/or the bad. Sometimes it is not a clear declarative announcement but a question that leaves us burdened with the anxiety of not knowing what is happening. Contemporary pain control focuses on acute pain. Acute pain occurs in short bursts, its end expected.
- We have developed many ways to control it.
- Chronic pain, however, is only now gaining attention as the battle against acute pain is being won.
- Chronic pain is predictable, extended, and many times debilitating.
- It is arthritic pain, sinus pain, and pain associated with certain seasons or situations.
- Just as acute pain dominated the past, chronic pain dominates the present.
But pain, whether acute or chronic, is dependent upon our social and personal environment. We respond to pain differently depending upon our past experience with it. If, as a child, for instance, we were encouraged to elaborate on our pain and consequently, become the center of attention, as an adult we will probably talk more about our pain and seek out those who will listen and respond.
- If, on the other hand, our pain was cared for while we were expected to continue with our daily tasks, we will accept most ordinary pain as part of our life style.
- It is also well recognized that people in different cultures experience pain differently.
- Pain, then, has its own language.
- And, as with any language, it differs as to who is speaking and what language is spoken.
PAIN AS SACRAMENT; PAIN AS SACRAMENTING “A language is real only when it is spoken and heard, not in a dictionary or grammar book. A language is more than spoken and heard words; it is also the gestures of face, hands, and body. Languages are bridges which bind speakers and listeners together in shared meaning and belonging.
- Sacraments and language have much in common.
- They express a complex reality in a very condensed fashion while initiating a new dynamic into their surrounding environment.
- When we speak we express our “selves.” But “self” is never simple.
- We have a past, a present and a future resulting from a confluence of other pasts, presents, and futures.
When we speak, our words do not hang there in the air, without effect. No, they encounter those around us – to be experienced anew by the listeners. The sacrament of baptism is much the same as our words. “Baptism is a combination of words, people, music, and pouring water.
- It links Christians of the past, present, and future.
- Yet it results in specific changes among everyone present.
- In the language of the medieval texts, it causes what it signifies.
- Pain is a sacrament – a sensible reality expressing and causing something unique, a bridge between change and our conscious self.
Pain sacramentalizes significant change in self, society, and world. “The change is evident when we know the cause of the pain. For example, the pain -ouch!- occurs because of the change my finger’s cut; the hunger pain occurs because I have no food (change: money to buy food to no money to buy food); the pain of alienation happens because I am not accepted where I work (change: accepted where I work to not accepted).
The sacramentalization of pain is more difficult to sense as the cause becomes more unknown. We may be pain-filled, and know that change is occurring, but not know the specificity of change. Thus pain is the sacrament of change which is many times unknown. “When the cause is unknown we face pain as mysterious, A awesome, and overwhelming.
Pain without a known cause plunges us deep into fear of the future and binds us to an eternal quest to resolve both cause and fear. In such an experience, pain touches the sacred which is also both fearful and attractive. Whenever we touch the sacred we realize our limitation.
- Alone we stretch out our hands to gain balance.
- But balance can come only by grasping the hands of those around us.
- Bound to them we can face that which is overpowering us.
- No matter how modern we are, unknown pain touches the primitive within – we howl and beat the air in our vain attempt to control what is essentially uncontrollable.
“In “unknown” pain we sense change but not direction. We know that change can be for good or ill. Unknown pain leaves the direction of change unknown. But so does known pain. The example of the tooth makes my point: a new tooth may come out for the young child but it may be lodged at the wrong angle or in such a way that thirty years later it wears the tooth next to it, thus causing undue decay.
Some known pain, with seemingly devastating consequences, results in re-directing one’s life – a young man who is hurt in such a way that he can never play football, now gives more time to academics and goes on to be a famous teacher. We may think we know the direction and intensity of the change announced by pain, but we can never be completely sure of the direction.
“Pain in the abstract, however, is never the sacrament. Painfilled people are: many elderly people filled with pain throughout the day and into the night; people who pain without end. These are the sacraments, and their pain is never ending – it is always sacramenting.
As sacrament and sacramenting the person expresses and bridges the worlds of change and consciousness as they respond to and are responded to as human beings. It is in these responses that we witness choice, love, justice, meaning, belonging, and a spirituality of pain. FROM PAIN TO SUFFERING We human beings are complex realities.
Because we are complex, we experience freedom. We can never be reduced to one causality, one reason why we act or do not act. We face choice in all of our complexity and all the complexity of choosing. We experience pain with this same complexity. Pain is only one aspect of our life and our living, no matter how overwhelming it may be at times.
- Pain is the physical aspect of our life.
- The change that it marks is part of a larger whole – the whole of suffering.
- Suffering is a way of experiencing ourselves and our world.
- Suffering is the painful consciousness of that within our world which is not what we expect it to be.”(1) The human person manifests him or herself in many ways: physically, emotionally, socially, and mentally.
Human pain is the physical marker of that suffering. Pain is always part of suffering but it is never equal to suffering because it is possible to accept a certain level of pain in order to reduce one’s or society’s suffering. A person in great pain, for instance, may be willing to put up with the pain in order to talk to those around them; or, a football player may endure great pain in order to score a touchdown; or, a parent to care for his or her children.
- Pain is not always equal to suffering but when suffering is present so is pain.
- Our choice of pain is tied up with our choice of suffering.
- Sometimes we face the pain of a situation in order to reduce the suffering present in it.
- CHOOSING PAIN IN A WORLD OF PAIN CONTROL A pain-free spirituality is impossible.
As long as we are humans we will experience pain. Any spirituality which offers an escape from pain is offering an escape from our humanity and its responsibilities. This does not mean that we should accept or live with all pain. Bad pain is bad pain. To suggest that it is not bad is to close our eyes to social and personal evil.
The pain of rape, of cancer, of malnutrition is wrong. To suggest that it is somehow good, some type of lemon from which the sufferers are to make lemonade, is to close our eyes to evil. To suggest that we accept these and similar pains as gifts from God is to make both God and the recipient into masochists.
Bad pain, evil pain must be dealt with as we deal with any evil. The role of pain in one’s spirituality is both a question of choice and of representation. Let us first look at our possible choice of pain. The answers to the following questions aid in that choice.
Pain is many times associated with the suffering involved in rebuilding the human family. Does our pain-filled life form, or deform, community? Does our pain-filled suffering improve our ability to live creatively with ambiguity, uncertainty, even chaos? After all, these are parts of life, so we must be able to live and work in their midst even though there are no criteria for judging with certainty that we are responding properly to them.
Does our choice contribute to our growth in the Spirit? Does the choice result in a growth of love that is self-giving? Does the choice result in a deeper awareness of God’s presence in our own life and the life of the world? After all, ours is a suffering God and the world does groan in agony awaiting its completion.
- Does the pain-filled suffering give promise of reaching its goal? Pain-filled suffering without a goal would be a life without a goal or direction.
- If we are not aware of the Christ-omega in our life, our pain loses its humanity.
- Is our acceptance of pain-filled suffering faithful to gospel values and historical realities, for instance, the gospel value of justice for all and the historical realities of the Christian tradition to help the needy? Are we willing to abandon our pain-filled suffering and what causes it? If the original reasons for accepting the pain into our life are not present, we must be willing to move on if we can.” Simone Weil has also shaped my attitude towards pain in my patients and the distinction between anguish of pain suffering and her term for being “nailed to the cross” or affliction:4 In her Gravity and Grace Weil’s concept of affliction (“malheur”) goes beyond simple suffering, though it certainly includes it.
Only some souls are capable of truly experiencing affliction; these are precisely those souls which are least deserving of it—that are most prone or open to spiritual realization. Affliction is a sort of suffering plus, which transcends both body and mind; such physical and mental anguish scourges the very soul.
- War and oppression were the most intense cases of affliction within her reach; to experience it she turned to the life of a factory worker, while to understand it she turned to Homer’s Iliad.
- Her essay The Iliad or the Poem of Force, first translated by Mary McCarthy, is a uniquely powerful piece of Homeric literary criticism, and of persistent interest to students of ancient literature.) Affliction was associated both with necessity and with chance-it was fraught with necessity because it was hard-wired into existence itself, and thus imposed itself upon the sufferer with the full force of the inescapable, but it was also subject to chance inasmuch as chance, too, is an inescapable part of the nature of existence.
The element of chance was essential to the unjust character of affliction; in other words, my affliction should not usually—let alone always—follow from my sin, as per traditional Christian theodicy, but should be visited upon me for no special reason.
The man who has known pure joy, if only for a moment.is the only man for whom affliction is something devastating. At the same time he is the only man who has not deserved the punishment. But, after all, for him it is no punishment; it is God holding his hand and pressing rather hard. For, if he remains constant, what he will discover buried deep under the sound of his own lamentations is the pearl of the silence of God.
In my research I would like to address these theoretical issues and bring them down to a possible measurable method by examining the architecture of pain and suffering in my patients. It is my experience albeit anecdotal, that those patients who come equipped to the physician with a cultural and theological persepctive, suffer less when confronted with sever chronic pain.
My practice includes neurological disease of a chronic and degenrative nature most of which include an element of pain and suffering. More than cancer which seems to have an end point the chronic nature of the suffering lends itself to long term follow up and study. The methods in this study will be to develpp a spiritual road map by which we can follow over time the progress on a physical psychological as well spiritual level, patients who have entered the study.
Purpose of a potential study might help us determine the scientific validity of including spirituality within mainstream medical practice. To determine spiritual coping mechanisms under stress and chronic pain in self professed religious persons versus non-religious.
This qualitative study examines the experiences of individuals with chronic pain in their attempt to find meaning in the presence of continual pain. The study will interview a group of patients who hve been diagnosed with chronic incurable pain disorders of a non cancer type. the study will compare and contrats coping mechanisms among different subtypes of patients accroding to their beilief systems.
It is hoped to demonstrate the following: Meaning is initially defined as the ability to engage in productive activities and positive relationships both on a horizontal axis meaning family friends and spouses as well as a vertical axis meaning a Higher Power as defined by the patient.
Chronic pain is perceived as the element that removes meaning from the lives of its sufferers. It is hoped that this study will demonstrate on a quantative level that the presence of a realtionship with a Higher Power significantly alters the ability of the patient to cope with chronic pain using measurable scales.
Medications are used to cope with both physical and emotional pain leading to addiction. We will measure addiction scores in bot groups to determine whether one or the other had migher levels of medication dependance. Rediscovering meaning takes place through a more complex understanding of self.
This occurs through the treatment process making it possible to explain the interrelation of pain, emotion, and relationship to Higher Power. References The Intersection Between Chronic Pain and Spirituality: References Andersson, Gerhard. “Chronic Pain and Praying to a Higher Power: Useful or Useless?” Journal of Religion and Health 47.2 (Jun.2008): 176-187.
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Kaye, Judy, and Senthil Kumar Raghavan. “Spirituality in Disability and Illness.” Journal of Religion and Health 41.3 (Fall 2002): 231-242. Lawler, Kathleen A., and Jarred W. Younger. “Theobiology: An Analysis of Spirituality, Cardiovascular Responses, Stress, Mood, and Physical Health.” Journal of Religion and Health 41.4 (Winter 2002): 347-362.
Moreira-Almeida, Alexander, and Harold G. Koenig. “Religiousness and Spirituality in Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Patients.” Current Pain and Headache Reports 14(2008): 327-332. Ng, Ho-Yee, and Daniel T.L. Shek. “Religion and Therapy: Religious Conversion and the Mental Health of Chronic Heroin-Addicted Persons.” Journal of Religion and Health 40.4 (Winter 2001): 399-410.
Siegel, Karolynn, and Eric W. Schrimshaw. “The Perceived Benefits of Religious and Spiritual Coping among Older Adults Living with HIV/AIDS.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 41.1 (Mar.2002): 91-102. Thompson Jr., Edward H., Leslie Killgore and Heather Connors.
“”Heart Trouble” and Religious Involvement among Older White Men and Women.” Journal of Religion and Health 48.3 (Sept.2009): 317-331. Wachholtz, Amy B., Michelle J. Pearce and Harold Koenig. “Exploring the Relationship between Spirituality, Coping, and Pain.” Journal of Behavioral Medicine 30.4 (Jun.2007): 311-318.
Zullig, Keith J., Rose Marie Ward and Thelma Horn. “The Association between Perceived Spirituality, Religiosity, and Life Satisfaction: The Mediating Role of Self-Rated Health.” Social Indicators Research 79.2 (Nov.2006): 255-274. Other Pain references: Caldwell, L.
- 1981). An essay on the labor of childbirth.
- Unpublished manuscript. Caton, D. (1999).
- What a blessing she had chloroform: The medical and social response to the pain of childbirth from 1800 to the present (pp.209-213).
- New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Cohen, J. (1996).
- After office hours: Doctor James Young Simpson, Rabbi Abraham De Sola, and Genesis chapter 3, verse 16.
Obstetrics & Gynecology, 88(5), 895-898. Conwill, W.L. (1986). Chronic pain conceptualization and religious interpretation. Journal of Religion and Health, 25(1), 46-50. Cusick, J. (2000). Four days in the school of pain. Journal of Pastoral Care, 54(2), 201-202.
Eddy, M.B. (1996). Miscellaneous Writings 188– 1896. Boston: First Church of Christ Scientist Publications. Glucklich, A. (1999). Self and sacrifice: A phenomenological psychology of sacred pain. Harvard Theological Review, 92, 479-506. Glucklich, A. (2001). Sacred pain: Hurting the body for the sake of the soul.
Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press. Mander, R. (2000), The meanings of labour pain or the layers of an onion? A woman-oriented view. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 18(2), 133-141. Moss, S. (1996). Pain and suffering in the Jewish tradition.
Journal of Psychology and Judaism, 20, 68-71. United States Catholic Conference, Inc. (2001). Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (Part 5, No.61, p.32). Washington, DC: Author. Suggested Reading Kumasaka, L. & Miles, A. (1996). My pain is God’s will. American Journal of Nursing, 96( 6), 45-47.
Low, J.F. (1997). Religious orientation and pain management. American Journal of Occupational Therapy 51(3), 215-219. Stott, J.R.W. (1987). God on the gallows: How could I worship a god immune to pain? Christianity Today, 31, 28-30. Villarruel, A.M. & Ortiz de Montellano, B.
- 1992). Culture and pain: A Mesoamerican perspective.
- Advances in Nursing Science, 15(1), 21-32.
- The Work Of Rense Lange Selected PAPERS AND PRESENTATIONS Daftari Fard, P., and Lange, R. (2008).
- Theoretical complexity vs.
- Rasch item difficulty in reading tests.
- Rasch Measurement Transactions, 2009, 23:2, p.1212-1213.
Fishbein, M., & Lange, R. (1990). The effects of crossing the midpoint on belief change: A replication and extension. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 16, 189-199. Harandi, M.T. & Lange, R. (1990). Model Based Knowledge Acquisition. In: Adeli (Ed.).
- Nowledge Engineering.
- New York, NY: Addison-Wesley.
- Houran, J., Lange, R., Rentfrow, P.J., & Bruckner, K.H. (2004).
- Do online matchmaking tests work? An assessment of preliminary evidence for a publicized ‘predictive model of marital success.’ North American Journal of Psychology, 6, 507-526.
- Illinois TIMSS Task Force (1997).
An initial analysis of the Illinois results from the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMMS). Illinois State Board of Education, Springfield, Illinois, September 17, 1997. (Co-author). Kazuaki, U. and Lange, R. (2000, April 24-28). An International Perspective on Eight Grade Mathematics in Rural, Urban, and Suburban Schools: The United States vs.
- Orea. Paper presented at the 81st Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans. Lange, R.
- 2010, June 6 – 9).
- An adaptive scheme for the dynamic Rasch calibration of pilot items.
- Poster presented at the first IACAT, Arnhem, the Netherlands. Lange, R. (2008).
- Binary Items and Beyond: Simulation of Computer Adaptive Testing Using the Rasch Partial Credit Model.
Journal of Applied Measurement, Vol.9. Lange, R. (2007, Feb 15-20). Technical Demands on the Large Scale Implementation of Student Assessments. I Bienal da Aprendizagem da Matemática e do Português (ISCTEM). Maputo, Mozambique. Lange, R. (2007). Binary Items and Beyond: A Simulation of Computer Adaptive Testing Using the Rasch Partial Credit Model.
In: Smith, E. and Smith, R. (Eds.) Rasch Measurement: Advanced and Specialized Applications. Pp.148-180, Maple Grove, MN: JAM Press. Lange, R. (2003, April 25-27). RASCHLAB: Using Computer Simulation to Teach Objective Measurement. Presentation at the FESTSCHRIFT in honor of Ben Wright: Access, Provocation, and the Development of Professional Identity: Celebrating the Careers of Benjamin D.
Wright. Chicago, IL. Lange, R. (1999). A cusp catastrophe approach to the prediction of temporal patterns in the kill dates of individual serial murderers. Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences, 3, 143-159. Lange, R. (1996). An empirical test of the weighted effect approach to generalized prediction using recursive neural nets.
- In: E. Simoudis, J. Han, & U. Fayyad.
- Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining.
- Menlo Park: AAAI Press.
- Lange, R., and Houran, J.
- 2006, April 5-7).
- Perceived importance of employees’ traits and abilities for performance in hospitality jobs.
- Paper presented at IOMW 2006, Berkeley, CA.
Lange, R. (2005, June 19-22). Issues in vertical scaling: Three simulation studies. Paper presented at the 35-th Annual National Conference on Large-Scale Assessment. San Antonio, TX. Lange, R. (1999, October 18). Modeling catastrophes with latent variables in GEMCAT II: Applications to serial murder, paranormal delusions, and organizational product adoption.
Presentation to the Chicago Chapter of the American Statistical Association. Chicago, IL. Lange, R., Jerabek, I., & Houran, J. (2005). Psychometric description of the TRUE Compatibility Test™ – a proprietary online matchmaking system. Dynamical Psychology. Lange, R., Wilson, G.D., Cousins, J., & Houran, J.
(2005). Redefining compatibility: gender differences in the building blocks of relationship satisfaction. Presentation at the 17th Ann. APS Convention. May 26-29, Los Angeles, CA. Lange, R., Jerabeck, I., & Houran, J. (2004, April 11–12). Building Blocks for Satisfaction in Long-Term Romantic Relationships: Evidence for the Complementarity Hypothesis of Romantic Compatibility.
- Paper presented at the 2004 Annual meeting of the AERA.
- San Diego, CA.
- Lange, R., Greiff, W.R., Moran, J., and Ferro, L.
- 2004, May 2-7).
- A probabilistic Rasch analysis of question answering evaluations.
- Human Language Technology conference / North American chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (NLT/NAACL).
Boston, MA. Lange, R., Greyson, B., & Houran, J. (2004). A Rasch scaling validation of a “core” near-death experience. British Journal of Psychology, 95, 161-177. Lange, R., McDade, S., and Oliva, T. (2004). The Estimation of a Catastrophe Model of a Cusp Model to Describe the Adoption of Word for Windows.
- Journal of Product Innovation Management, 21: 15-32.
- Lange, R., and Metcalf, L.
- 2008, June 12-21).
- Organizers of: Large-Scale Formative Assessment: Reporting Test Results that Are BOTH Psychometrically Sound and Instructionally-Sensitive.
- Discussant: Prof.
- James Popham (U of Calif).
- Session held at the 38th Annual National Conference on Student Assessment, Orlando, FL.
Lange, R., & Hughes, L. (2004, June 23-25). A computer adaptive Version of the Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT). Advances in Health Outcomes Measurement: Exploring the Current State and the Future Applications of Item Response Theory, Item Banks, and Computer-Adaptive Testing.
- Bethesda, MD.
- Lange, R., Thalbourne, M.A., Houran, J., & Lester, D. (2002).
- Depressive response sets due to gender and culture-based differential item functioning.
- Personality and Individual Differences, 33, 937-954.
- Lange, R., Donathan, C.L., & Hughes, L.F. (2002).
- Assessing olfactory abilities with the University of Pennsylvania smell identification test: A Rasch scaling approach.
Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 4, 77-91. Lange, R. & Houran, J. (2000). Belief vs. fear: Modeling Maher’s attribution theory of delusions as a cusp catastrophe using GEMCAT II, Journal of Nonlinear Dynamics in Psychology and the Life Sciences, 4, 235-254 Lange, R., McDade, S., & Oliva, T.A.
2001). Technological choice and network externalities: A catastrophe model analysis of firm software adoption for competing operating systems. Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, 12, 39-57. Lange, R., Oliva, T.A., & McDade, S. (2001). An algorithm for estimating multivariate catastrophe models: GEMCAT II.
Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics and Econometrics, 4(3), 137-168. Also appears at http://www.bepress.com/snde/vol4/ iss3/algorithm1. Lange, R., & Hughes, L.F. (2001, October 20). Rasch Scaling the UPSIT: Using Smell Recognition to Identify Alzheimer’s Disease, Paper presented on the International Conference on Objective Measurement: Focus on Health Care (ICOM 2001), University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL Lange, R., Thalbourne, M.A., Houran, J., & Storm, L.
2000). The revised Transliminality scale: Reliability and validity data from a Rasch Top-Down Purification procedure. Consciousness and Cognition, 9, 591-617. Lange, R., Oliva, T.A., & McDade, S. (1999, June 13-16). Multivariate catastrophe modeling with GEMCAT II: An organizational product adoption example.
Paper presented at the AMA ART Forum. Sante Fe, NM. Lange, R. & Houran, J. (1999). Scaling the AT-20 using item response theory. Personality and Individual Differences, 26, 467-475. Lange, R. & Harandi, M.T. (1986). The elements of a distributed knowledge acquisition system.
Proceedings of the Sixth International Workshop on Expert Systems and Their Applications. Avignon, France. Lange, R., Hearn, L., & Kearney, F.W. (1986). The use of knowledge engineering teams as a method for the development of expert systems. In: Sriram, D. and Adey, R. (Eds.). Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Engineering Problems.
Boston, MA: Computational Mechanics Publications, pp.45-54. Lange, R., & Fishbein, M. (1983). The effects of category differences on belief change and agreement with the source of a persuasive communication. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44, 933-941.
McCutcheon, L.E., Lange, R., & Houran, J. (2002). Conceptualization and measurement of celebrity worship. British Journal of Psychology, 93, 67-87. Wolfe F., MacIntosh, R., Kreiner, S., Lange, R., Graves, R, Linacre, J.M. (2006) Multiple Significance Tests Rasch Measurement Transactions, 19:3 p.1033-44. Software Lange, R.
(1998-Present). GEMCAT II, V1.0 – V1.3. Delphi 6.0 software for estimating multivariate catastrophe models. Features: Jackknife and bootstrap tests for indicator weights, Pseudo-R2 and Pseudo-F tests for model comparison. A fully operational version of the program and a manual can be downloaded from: http://astro.temple.edu/~oliva/cat-theory.htm.
How does God deal with suffering?
So what good is any of this? Why does this matter in the midst of your world collapsing? – It matters because God is moved by and responds to your pain. In his book, “Faith Seeking Understanding,” Dr. Daniel Migliore concludes that “God is present as co-sufferer with all the wretched of the earth, whether in cancer wards or in concentration camps.” In other words, your very present pain is seen by God; He is present with you and is grieved by a world that causes His children to suffer.
He sees your pain, and like any good father, chooses to respond ( Psalm 103:13), In her article “When God’s Sovereignty Scares You,” Keri Seavey reminds us that “when we feel like God is distant, indifferent, or uncaring toward us in our suffering, the cross stands as compelling evidence that He’s not.” The cross is God’s ultimate response to the brokenness of humanity – and that includes your pain and suffering.
He walks through every season of life with you, seeing that exhaustion and frustration life can bring, reminding you that He is so compassionate towards you that He’s already responded.
What is God’s purpose for suffering?
Suffering as a Tool of Sanctification – Nothing is so broken as to be unusable by God. Although suffering is alien to His goal for humanity, God uses it now as part of our development as people. Nothing forces a person to confront their true self like suffering.
What is the purpose of pain and suffering in our life?
by Tal Ben-Shahar While it is part of our universal nature to seek pleasure and avoid pain, culture plays a central role in how we deal with suffering. In the West, we generally reject suffering. We see it as an unwelcome interruption of our pursuit of happiness.
So we fight it, repress it, medicate it, or search for quick-fix solutions to get rid of it. In some cultures, especially in the East, suffering is acknowledged for the important role it plays in people’s lives, in the meandering path toward enlightenment. While I have yet to be convinced that it is possible to reach a stat of enlightenment or nirvana—a state of perfect and permanent inner peace—there is much we can learn from the Buddhist approach to life’s impermanence and imperfections, defeats and disappointments.
The Tibetan monk Khenchen Konchog Gyaltshen Rinpoche discusses four benefits of suffering: wisdom, resilience, compassion, and a deep respect for reality. Wisdom emerges from the experience of suffering. When things go well, we rarely stop to ask questions about our lives.
A difficult situation, however, often forces us out of our mindless state, causing us to reflect on our experiences. To be able to see deeply, to develop what King Solomon referred to as a wise heart, we must brave the eye of the storm. Nietzsche, a wise man himself, famously remarked that what does not kill us, makes us stronger.
Suffering can make us more resilient, better able to endure hardships. Just as a muscle, in order to build up, must endure some pain, so our emotions must endure pain in order to strengthen. Helen Keller, who in her lifetime knew much suffering, as well as joy, noted that “character cannot be developed in ease and quiet.
- Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” Everybody hurts sometimes, and allowing ourselves to feel this universal emotion links us together in a web of compassion.
- The dictionary defines compassion as a “deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it,” but the only way we can gain a deep awareness of the suffering of others is by having suffered ourselves.
A theoretical understanding of suffering is as meaningless as a theoretical description of the color blue to a blind person. To know it, we need to experience it. As Pastor Fritz Williams notes, “Suffering and joy teach us, if we allow them, how to make the leap of empathy, which transports us into the soul and heart of another person.
In those transparent moments we know other people’s joys and sorrows, and we care about their concerns as if they were our own.” One of the most significant benefits of suffering is that it breeds a deep respect for reality, for what is. While the experience of joy connects us to the realm of infinite possibilities, the experience of pain reminds us of our limitations.
When, despite all our effort, we get hurt, we are humbled by constraints that we sometimes fail to notice when we’re flying high. It seems to me more than symbolic that when in ecstasy we often lift our head up, to the heavens, to the infinite, and when in agony, we tend to cast our gaze down to earth, to the finite.
Rabbi Bunim of Pshischa says that we all need to walk around with two slips of paper in our pockets: the first slip with the Talmudic words “for my sake the world was created” and the second slip with the words from Genesis “I am but dust and ashes.” The healthy psychological state resides somewhere in between the two messages, somewhere between hubris and humility.
In the same way that the synthesis between hubris and humility breeds psychological health, combining ecstasy and agony establishes a healthy relationship with reality. Ecstasy makes me feel invincible: it makes me feel that I am the master of my destiny, that I create my reality.
- But agony is likely to make me feel vulnerable and humbled: it makes me feel that I am the servant of my circumstances, that I have little control over my reality.
- Ecstasy alone leads to detached arrogance; suffering alone engenders resignation.
- Life’s vicissitudes bring us closer to Aristotle’s golden mean.
A deep respect for reality implies an acceptance of what is—of our potential, our limitation, and our humanity. Recognizing that suffering is integral to our lives and that there are other benefits to pain, such as the cultivation of wisdom and compassion, we become more accepting of our suffering.
- And when we truly accept grief and sorrow as inevitable, we actually suffer less.
- Nathaniel Branden refers to self-esteem—for which self-acceptance is central—as the immune system of consciousness.
- A strong immune system does not mean that we do not get sick but rather that we get sick less often and that, when we do get sick, we recover faster.
Similarly, suffering is unlikely to ever go away completely, but as the immune system of our consciousness strengthens, we suffer less often, and when we do, our recovery is more rapid. The fact that suffering yields benefits does not imply that we ought to seek it actively—just as the fact that sickness actually strengthens our immune system does not imply that we need to look for opportunities to become sick.
We naturally seek pleasure in our lives and try to minimize the amount of pain we endure. The imperfect and impermanent world provides us ample opportunities, without us actively looking for them, to fortify our immune system. The first of the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths is the truth of suffering—a truth we can either reject or accept as an inevitable part of being human.
And when we learn to accept, even embrace, difficult experiences, our suffering becomes a tool, an instrument, for growth. This post is excerpted from “Being Happy: You Don’t Have to Be Perfect to Lead a Richer, Happier Life”, by Tal Ben-Shahar, PhD. Learn how to strengthen your capacity for resilience from Maria Sirois in her course, The Resilient Quest (When Life Strikes Hard), Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar, Co-founder of WholeBeing Institute, is an author and lecturer who taught the largest course at Harvard on “Positive Psychology” and the third largest on “The Psychology of Leadership”—with a total of over 1,400 students. Author of Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment, he consults and lectures around the world to corporate executives, the general public, and at-risk populations on topics that include happiness, self-esteem, resilience, goal setting, mindfulness, and leadership.
What did Jesus have to say about suffering?
Jesus’ response to suffering as an example for us to follow There is no question that sufferings of various kinds abound in the world in which we live. Such sufferings may include physical and mental illness, the ravages of war, terrorism, and religious extremist violence, the dehumanization of poverty, hunger, and oppression. Many in society today suffer from the aftermath of broken relationships, shattered dreams and alienation from families, dashed hopes and loneliness, discrimination, grief, and all kinds of addictions and abuses. All this speaks to the prevalence of suffering. In the face of the near pervasiveness of suffering, certain questions remain irresistible: Where is God in the midst of all this? Why did a loving God allow this to happen to me? What did I do wrong to be punished in this way? Sincere as these questions may be, yet, they, not too infrequently, prevent us from gaining a deeper appreciation of the mystery of suffering devoid of sentimentalism. The life and Passion of Jesus Christ offer us clues as well as some perspective for our own response to suffering. The Gospels offer us abundant wisdom on Jesus in relation to suffering. In the first place, many Gospel texts reveal how Jesus resisted and eliminated suffering wherever he encountered it. In the face of human suffering, rather than asking why, Jesus swung into action and healed all kinds of sicknesses; he raised the dead and consoled the afflicted and comforted the broken-hearted; he forgave sinners, liberated those in the power of the devil, and welcomed the oppressed and rejected (Cf. Matthew 9:35). Moreover, the notion of suffering as punishment for sin was deeply embedded in ancient Hebrew tradition. Jesus rejected this notion and rather highlighted the unconditional love of God (e.g., the Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 5:45 and the healing of the man born blind – John 9:1-41). And even as he faced his own suffering and death, Jesus remained faithful to his call, always trusting in the power of God to vindicate him. His resurrection was proof of his vindication. Aside from natural disasters and other natural ailments, we know that other forms of suffering such as injustice and terrorism are the upshots of people’s evil choices. While we marvel at God’s profound respect for human free will, we must (as individuals and communities) follow the example of Jesus. Rather than asking “why?” a deep trust in a compassionate God allows, as well as inspires, us to act to overcome and end suffering. The Rev. Camillus O. Njoku is the parochial vicar, at Holy Redeemer Parish. His message is published in cooperation with the Ellwood City Ministerial Association. : Jesus’ response to suffering as an example for us to follow
Is pain a blessing from God?
Pain is not only a necessity but also a blessing, because it warns us, corrects us, guides us, and brings us to Jesus. Pain can be a blessing in many different ways, and the first is as a warning system.