Dear Dr. B,
I just don’t understand. Life is so terribly hard. Why doesn’t God protect us from pain? Why doesn’t God shelter us from more? Doesn’t He care?
Pained and Wondering
I’m so sorry for your pain. It’s never fun to be in pain, and so often we want God to rescue us from pain.
Sometimes pain comes as a consequence to our own behavior. Sometimes it comes as an attack from the enemy who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). And sometimes, we won’t know why it comes. But there is still reason to maintain your hope even in the midst of pain.
God promises that what the enemy intends for our harm, God can and will use for good.
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20)
God loves you with an everlasting love. He is a kind God. He doesn’t do things to hurt you.
“The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
Sometimes God does rescue us from difficulty, but other times, He allows our difficult circumstances to help develop our character or to trust in Him.
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.” (Psalm 91:1-3)
“This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.” (Psalm 34:6-7)
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” (Psalm 91:14-16)
The Bible tells us that in this world, we can expect to have trouble, but God assures us that He has overcome it all, and because of that, we can stay at peace.
“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.” (John 16:33)
I’m comforted by His promises that even though we will go through difficult times, painful times, that won’t be the end of us, and He will be with us.
“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” (Isaiah 43:2)
Even when God allows us to go through difficult times, we have the assurance that He will work all things—even our pain, for our good and for His glory.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28)
God is not cruel. He doesn’t delight in seeing us struggle. And He promises that we won’t go through the pain alone.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
We can take comfort in knowing that even when He doesn’t rescue us from the pain, it has a purpose in our lives. Because of that, we can take joy and be thankful.
“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.” (James 1:2-4)
While I’m sorry that you are experiencing pain, I am thankful that it does serve a purpose, and that God in His faithfulness will see you through it so that you don’t have to face it alone. And when you come out on the other side of this painful circumstance, you will be able to comfort others with the same comfort God is showing you.
“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 Corinthians 1:4)
Can I have the honor of praying for you?
Father, I pray for the one who is reading this right now, who is in great pain. Lord, I don’t have to know all the details, but you know and you care. Father, I ask that you will extend comfort to their heart, and peace to their mind. Assure them of your presence, and of your ability to work all things together for our good, even when we do not understand. We love you, Lord, and thank you in advance for how you will work this out for their good and your glory. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)
A short brief about Hope Prevails.
Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.
Neuropsychologist Offers Hope to Those Struggling with Depression
-By 2020, depression will be our greatest epidemic worldwide
- An estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression
- As with the bestselling My Stroke of Insight, the author experienced the same condition she treats
- Helpful features include personal stories, biblical truths, prayers, and music recommendations
In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion and empathy, blending her extensive training and faith, to offer readers a hope that is grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is a treatment plan that addresses the whole person—not just chemical imbalances in the brain.
For those who struggle with depression and those that want to help them, Hope Prevails offers real hope for the future.
Hope Prevails is available now wherever books are sold. To find out more, see: https://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/.