Millions suffer through physical pain, which often becomes chronic physical pain, every day. The longer pain persists, the more we are tempted to start questioning God. Does he care? If he cares, why is he allowing this to happen to me? I know he can heal but why isn’t he healing me? Recently on Your Hope-Filled Perspective, Laurie Davies and I talked about the struggle with chronic pain, as well as what we can do to help our pain journeys. We had such a great conversation, we had to break it up into two parts! Listen here: Dealing with Chronic Pain: Do’s and Don’ts (Part 2) – Episode 225 and When Chronic Pain Becomes Too Much – Episode 224.
Physical pain can cause us to become inward focus, retreat from God, or even blame God for our suffering. So how do we deal with physical pain while trusting God’s plan?
How Do You Trust God When You Hurt?
Life is full of both joys and sorrows, moments of triumph and seasons of despair. During times of hurt, pain, and suffering, it can be challenging to trust in God. However, in such moments, it is precisely when faith can become a guiding light, providing solace, strength, and comfort.
- Acknowledge Your Pain:
In moments of pain, it is important to acknowledge and express your pain. Contrary to popular belief, expressing your pain does not demonstrate a lack of faith, but rather showcases vulnerability and opens the door for healing and restoration. God invites us to bring our anguish before Him, understanding that He is compassionate and understanding.
- Take Refuge in His Promises:
One of the foundations of trust is relying on the promises of God. The Bible is rich with passages that reassure us of His love (Rom. 8:35, 37-39), care, and the fact that He works all things together for good (Rom. 8:28). Reflecting on these promises can help in the healing process and provide comfort during turbulent times. Trust in His plan, even if it is unclear at the moment.
- Draw Strength from Past Experiences:
Recall and reflect on past experiences where God has shown Himself faithful in times of difficulty (Deut. 7:9). Remember moments when He provided comfort, solutions, or carried you through seemingly insurmountable situations. This reflection will reaffirm your faith and build trust in God’s ability to see you through your current pain.
- Seek Support from Spiritual Community:
Surrounding yourself with a supportive spiritual community is crucial when hurting (Proverbs 11:24; 12:15). Seek out fellow believers who can offer empathy, understanding, and prayer. They can help you see God’s hand at work in your life, offering perspective and encouragement when your trust begins to waver.
- Embrace the Mystery of God:
Trusting God during pain sometimes means accepting that we may not fully understand why certain trials or hardships occur. God is sovereign, and it is within His purview to work in mysterious ways, beyond our comprehension. Surrendering to this mystery and choosing to trust His wisdom can bring peace and solace even amidst the hurt.
- Seek God’s Presence through Prayer and Meditation:
In times of pain, immersing yourself in prayer and meditation can be transformative. These practices help create a space for intimate dialogue with God, fostering a deeper connection with Him. Through prayer, open your heart to God, pouring out your pain, fear, and frustrations. In return, embrace His love, peace, and healing.
- Find Purpose in your Pain:
Though it may seem counterintuitive, trust in God can be strengthened when we find purpose in our pain. Understand that our sufferings can serve as opportunities for growth, refining our character, increasing empathy, or drawing us closer to God. Persevering through difficulties with faith can lead to breakthroughs and a deepened relationship with Him.
Trusting God during periods of hurt is a deeply personal and unique journey for each individual. It requires acknowledging our pain, seeking refuge in God’s promises, and drawing strength from past experiences. Surrounding ourselves with a supportive community, embracing the mystery of God, and seeking His presence through prayer and meditation are also essential aspects. Ultimately, trusting in God during times of pain leads to personal growth and a closer relationship with the divine, providing solace and hope that transcends earthly circumstances.
How to Deal with Pain in a Godly Way
Life is filled with pain and suffering. From physical ailments to emotional heartbreak, we all experience moments of deep pain that can shake us to our core. In times like these, it is crucial to approach our pain in a way that aligns with our faith and values.
- Acknowledge the Reality of Pain:
In order to approach pain in a godly manner, it’s vital to acknowledge its existence and accept that it is a natural part of the human experience. The Bible reminds us that even Jesus, the Son of God, experienced pain and suffering during his time on Earth. Accepting pain as a reality allows us to confront it head-on and seek solace through faith.
- Seek God’s Presence:
When faced with pain, turning to God and seeking His presence is essential. Spend time in prayer, pouring out your heart before Him, and seeking His comfort and guidance. The Psalms are a profound source of solace during difficult times, offering prayers of lament, sorrow, and hope. By seeking God’s presence, you can find the strength to face your pain and draw closer to Him.
- Embrace the Grieving Process:
Pain often accompanies loss, whether it be the loss of a loved one, a relationship, or a dream. It’s crucial to allow yourself to grieve and process your emotions fully. The Bible affirms the value of mourning and provides examples of godly men and women who grieved openly. Remember that grieving is a natural process that paves the way for healing and restoration.
- Find Support in Christian Community:
In times of pain, it is invaluable to surround yourself with a compassionate and understanding Christian community. Seek the support of trusted friends, family, or a local church group. They can provide comfort, encouragement, and a listening ear. Additionally, connecting with others who are also on a faith journey can deepen our understanding of God’s sovereignty and purpose in our pain.
- Turn to God’s Word:
The Bible is filled with promises, guidance, and stories of triumph over adversity. During times of pain, immerse yourself in God’s Word. Seek out scriptures that speak to your situation, such as Psalm 34:17-18 which reads, “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 crushed in spirit.” These verses offer solace and assurance that God is with us in our suffering.
- Practice Forgiveness:
Pain can often lead to feelings of anger, resentment, or bitterness. However, as followers of Christ, we are called to practice forgiveness. Letting go of grudges and forgiving those who have harmed us brings healing and allows God’s love to flow through us. Turning to God’s example of forgiveness can help us navigate the process of letting go and seeking reconciliation where possible.
- Serve Others:
In times of pain, it is natural to focus inward and become consumed by our own suffering. However, a godly response to pain involves shifting our focus onto others and demonstrating Christlike love. Engaging in acts of service and kindness not only helps others but also brings a sense of purpose and fulfillment to our own lives. Serving others enables us to experience God’s healing power and transforms our pain into an opportunity for growth.
Dealing with pain in a godly way requires a deliberate choice to lean on our faith and seek God’s guidance. By acknowledging pain, seeking God’s presence, embracing the grieving process, finding support in Christian community, turning to God’s Word, practicing forgiveness, and serving others, we can navigate the painful seasons of life with grace, strength, and a deeper trust in God’s ultimate plan for our lives.
In times of physical pain, it’s natural to seek relief and comfort. Prayer has long been a source of solace for many, providing a sense of calm, hope, and connection to something greater than ourselves. While it is not a guarantee for immediate healing, prayer can be a powerful tool in coping with and alleviating physical pain.
- Acknowledge and accept the pain:
Before praying, it’s important to acknowledge and accept the reality of your physical pain. Recognize the sensations and allow yourself to fully understand the discomfort you are experiencing. By accepting the pain, you open yourself up to the possibility of healing and relief through prayer.
- Surrender and have faith:
Prayer includes surrendering our worries and burdens to a higher power. Approach your prayers with faith and trust that your higher power, whether it be God, the universe, or any other deity, will hear your plea and provide comfort. Surrendering the pain to a higher power allows you to let go of control and embrace the possibility of healing.
- Pray for strength and guidance:
In your prayers, ask for strength, wisdom, and guidance to endure the pain and seek suitable remedies. Pray for the ability to find the right doctors, treatments, or therapies that may aid in alleviating your pain. Additionally, ask for the strength to endure the pain while you wait for relief.
- Pray for healing:
Directly pray for healing from your physical pain. Be specific in your prayers, describing the nature and location of the pain. Ask for relief, restoration, and rejuvenation in the affected area. Additionally, pray for the skill and wisdom of healthcare professionals involved in your care.
- Seek spiritual support:
Reach out to your spiritual community, whether it be a church congregation, support group, or a close-knit circle of friends. Request their prayers and spiritual support in your healing journey. Sharing your pain and struggles with understanding individuals can provide comfort and a sense of unity.
- Practice gratitude:
Express gratitude for the blessings in your life, even amidst the physical pain. Gratitude can shift your focus from pain to the things that bring you joy, and this shift in perspective can be therapeutic. By acknowledging the positives, you invite more positive energy into your life, which may aid in relieving your physical discomfort.
- Maintain consistency and patience:
Prayer is not a magical fix, and physical healing may take time. Therefore, maintain consistency in your prayers and have patience. Understand that healing may not occur immediately or in the way you expect. Trust that your prayers are being heard, and allow the healing process to unfold naturally.
Prayer can be a powerful tool in managing and seeking relief from physical pain. By acknowledging the pain, surrendering to a higher power, seeking strength and guidance, praying for healing, seeking spiritual support, incorporating meditation techniques, practicing gratitude, and maintaining patience, you can create a positive environment conducive to finding comfort and relief. Remember that prayer is not a substitute for seeking medical care, so it’s essential to continue consulting healthcare professionals for appropriate treatment while simultaneously practicing prayer for pain relief.
Friend, I don’t believe God created us for pain, nor causes our pain. But I do think he offers it as an opportunity to deepen our faith in him throughout our pain journey. When we focus on our pain, all we experience is more hurt, but when we focus on God, he lifts our head and helps to carry our burdens.
What have you found helpful in dealing with pain while trusting God’s plan? We’d love to hear in the comments below!
Friend, if you are experiencing physical, emotional, relational, financial, or spiritual pain, grief or loss, can I encourage you to pick up a copy of my book The Hem of His Garment: Reaching Out to God When Pain Overwhelms. I wrote it in the crucible of pain, with you in mind. In it, I address the common thoughts and questions of pain sufferers, I openly and authentically share about my own painful journey, and I encourage you to hold on to your trust in God while waiting for your healing.
Click to find out more about The Hem of His Garment: Reaching Out to God When Pain Overwhelms.