No More Pain
Or, The Instructive Past and Hopeful Future
Concerning Pain, Suffering, and Death
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their
eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall
there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away"
by Tom Stewart
ain is something
that we all desire to avoid because we are human.
"For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it,
even as the LORD the Church" (Ephesians
5:29). However, pain, suffering, and even death are often unavoidable, when we seek
to accomplish the will of God. "Though
He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered" (Hebrews 5:8). Instead of running to the extremes of seeking
to embrace pain as a constant companion, or running from pain at all costs, we need
to understand the wisdom of how God uses pain in our lives. "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every
where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to
abound and to suffer need" (Philippians
Sin: The Origin of Pain
hough we may have wondered if a newly created Adam
could experience everyday pain, we can be certain of what Scripture records as the
occasion for the beginning of pain-- SIN. "Unto
the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception;
in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband,
and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam He said, Because thou hast hearkened unto
the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying,
Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt
thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring
forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face
shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken:
for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return"
- God's command was plain. "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of
the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the Tree Of The Knowledge Of Good And Evil,
thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely
die" (Genesis 2:16-17). Satan's temptation
questioned the very essence of the Truthfulness and Love of God to man. "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not
surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall
be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil" (3:4-5).
- Adam and Eve's first sin brought forth the by-product
of pain, which is the condition of separation from the Living God. "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and
that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she
took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her;
and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were
naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard
the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam
and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the
trees of the garden" (Genesis 3:6-8).
This condition of separation from the Living God yields pain, while union with our
LORD yields joy. "But your iniquities
have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you,
that He will not hear" (Isaiah 59:2).
Compare that to this. "Thou wilt shew
me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are
pleasures for evermore" (Psalm 16:11).
Punishment and Reformation: The Purpose of Pain
hough pain and suffering seem only to have a negative
purpose, as Christians, we can be sure that it is entirely untrue. "And we know that all things work together for good to them
that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28). The
God of Wisdom and Love must have a deeper purpose than simply to watch His people
suffer. "O the depth of the riches both
of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways
past finding out!" (11:33).
God's punishment of Adam and Eve's sin was not only punitive, but it was reformative
for the promotion of Godliness, i.e., "cursed
is the ground for thy sake" (Genesis
3:17). The punishment of Adam and Eve was the All Wise God's method of securing their
salvation and sanctification. "Unto Adam
also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them" (Genesis 3:21). This was the beginning of salvation in
mankind. "Without shedding of blood is
no remission" (Hebrews 9:22). Eve was
punished with sorrow in childbearing and the necessity for submission to her husband.
"Unto the woman He said, I will greatly
multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children;
and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee" (Genesis 3:16). Eve was established as the pattern for
even the women of today. "Notwithstanding
she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness
with sobriety" (1Timothy 2:15).
Adam was punished with the pain, toil, and sorrow of physical survival for himself
and his family. "And unto Adam He said,
Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree,
of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground
for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also
and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground;
for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return" (Genesis 3:17-19). Though neither Adam's toil nor Eve's
childbearing could in itself have saved them, it was necessary (where appropriate)
for their acceptance by faith with God. "But
if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath
denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel"
Clarification: Physical Pain Does Not Necessarily
f pain is the result of sin and sinning, then is
physical pain sin? No. If physical pain indicated that you were in a sinful condition,
then how could the Sinless Son of God-- "Who
did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth"
(1Peter 2:22).-- have lived as a human being, suffering the human condition, and
not have sinned? The LORD Jesus was always the Perfect "Lamb
of God, which taketh away the sin of the world"
Remember what the disciples asked the Master concerning the man born blind. "And His disciples asked Him, saying, Master, who did
sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?" (John 9:2). Jesus clearly indicated that the man's form of suffering,
i.e., blindness, was not due to any wrong doing on the man's part or his parents'
part. "Jesus answered, Neither hath this
man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in
Even Jesus-- the Perfect Man-- Was Not Exempt
- Jesus is Actually Both Man as Well as the Living
God. Though the Old Testament Scriptures predicted the miracle that God would
appear on Earth as a real man-- "For unto
us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His
shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The
Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace"
(Isaiah 9:6)-- how startled our predecessors
must have been to discover that Jesus of Nazareth was THE Living God! "And without controversy great is the mystery of Godliness:
God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached
unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory" (1Timothy 3:16).
- Jesus is the Example. The value of the
doctrine of the humanity of the LORD Jesus Christ can be seen in the wonderful example
that He has given as to how to live our lives. "For
even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an
example, that ye should follow His steps"
(1Peter 2:21). Yes, we have been commanded by His Word concerning our conduct, i.e.,
"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your
Father which is in Heaven is perfect"
(Matthew 5:48), but just as significantly,
the Master leads us by His example. "He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His
Name's sake" (Psalm 23:3).
- The LORD Jesus Experienced the Human Condition.
A mistaken notion is that the LORD Jesus Christ somehow extinguished the sin out
of the human flesh, when He became a man-- "And
the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory
as of the Only Begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). Actually, there was no such necessity, because
physical human flesh does not metaphysically transmit sin like a modern virus. Sin
is only an act of the human will against the known and understood will of God. "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the Law:
for sin is the transgression of the Law"
(1John 3:4). Also, "Therefore to him that
knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin" (James 4:17).
- It is appropriate then to identify the act of
sinning as moral depravity, and the resulting sinful condition as being morally depraved.
"Either make the tree good, and his fruit
good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known
by his fruit" (Matthew 12:33). We are
only sinful (or, morally depraved) when we are in the condition of not having repented
of known sin. But, "If we confess our
sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness" (1John 1:9).
Since the LORD Jesus Christ never committed sin before, during, or after He became
a man in human flesh, He never can be said to have been morally depraved (or, sinful).
[the Father] hath made Him [the Son] to be sin for us, [Jesus] Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness
of God in Him [Jesus]" (2Corinthians 5:21).
How unlike the rest of us! "All we like
sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath
laid on Him [Jesus Christ] the iniquity of us all"
(Isaiah 53:6). Who can truthfully deny that we have all sinned? No one. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory
of God" (Romans 3:23). [For a more developed
discussion of moral depravity compared to a less understood concept of 'physical
depravity'-- yes, that's a term from Charles G. Finney's "Systematic Theology"-- see
the sub-point "(4) Physical depravity is the physical consequence of sin" of the sub-section "Back to the Basics: The
Principles of the Doctrine of Christ" of our article, "An Urgent Call to Christian Perfection".]
- Jesus Knew Pain, Suffering, and Death in His
Earthly Life. "And when He had fasted
forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungred" (Matthew 4:2). "After
this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might
be fulfilled, saith, I thirst" (John
19:28). "Forasmuch then as Christ hath
suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind:
for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin" (1Peter 4:1). "And being
found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death,
even the death of the Cross" (Philippians
- Our LORD Was Born to Die. The LORD Jesus
obviously knew what He was getting Himself into long before He came to Earth as a
man. "Let this mind be in you, which was
also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be
equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of
a servant, and was made in the likeness of men"
(Philippians 2:5-7). Understanding perfectly the suffering and death He would experience
on a Roman cross; still, He manifested Perfect Love by enduring it. "Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the
Cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the Throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2). Thank you, LORD Jesus, for your Magnificent
The Apostle Paul: A Notable Example
- A Thorn in the Flesh. "And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance
of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of
Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure" (2 Corinthians 12:7). The Apostle Paul seems to be describing some
kind of physical affliction from which he requested deliverance from the LORD. "For this thing I besought the LORD thrice, that it
might depart from me" (12:8). Finally,
Paul arrives at the conclusion that obtaining God's grace simply to sustain him in
his need, was as important as taking away the
"thorn in the flesh"-- in this particular
instance. How did he know this? Because the LORD gave him a special revelation to
tell him that he would not receive the normally expected healing or deliverance,
[the LORD's] grace is sufficient for thee:
for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather
glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me" (12:9). As a consequence, Paul learned to rejoice even
in his distresses, knowing that God's power was resting on him. "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in
necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak,
then am I strong" (12:10).
- That I May Know Him. Paul demonstrated
to us the value of knowing the LORD Jesus Christ. "That
I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His
sufferings, being made conformable unto His death" (Philippians 3:10). To know the LORD Jesus Christ means
to know the "power of His Resurrection" as well as the "fellowship
of His Sufferings". If you get to know
one part of the LORD Jesus, you will get to know the other part-- as well as "being made conformable to His Death".
Suffering: The Secret of Personal Sanctification
- Need for Sanctification. Though we were
made holy in Christ when we first believed-- "Who
gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify
unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works" (Titus 2:14)-- that holiness must be maintained by our continual
abiding in Christ by faith. "Whosoever
abideth in Him sinneth not" (1John 3:6).
Also, the same confidence that the LORD would save us in the first place, is the
confidence that He will continue to sanctify us to the end. "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun
a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6).
- God only gives holiness to those who ask Him for
it in faith-- "If we confess our sins,
He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1John 1:9). Similarly, we cannot pretend to be walking
in faith while walking in disobedience. "And
why call ye Me, LORD, LORD, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46). Holiness must be in our conduct, if it has
truly been given to us by the LORD. "Follow
peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the LORD" (Hebrews 12:14).
The secret to our personal sanctification or holiness is found in our suffering.
"Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered
for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath
suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin"
(1Peter 4:1). Even as the Apostle Paul knew the "fellowship
of His sufferings" (Philippians 3:10),
he understood the Entire Sanctification available to all the Saints. "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and
I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming
of our LORD Jesus Christ" (1Thessalonians
5:23). Only those who have "suffered in
the flesh" have "ceased from sin"
(1Peter 4:1). God intends that the result of suffering would be our ceasing from
sinning. This must be possible, or else, why does Scripture place such an emphasis
upon Not Sinning for all those who are Born Again? "We
know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth
himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not"
Medieval monasticism is not to be confused with our ceasing from sin through suffering.
"Let no man beguile you of your reward
in a voluntary humility... Touch not; taste not; handle not... after the commandments
and doctrines of men?... Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship,
and humility, and neglecting of the body"
(Colossians 2:18,21,22,23). The monastic error was to place the emphasis upon the
man gaining mastery over the human will through his suffering, i.e., "will worship"
(2:23). However, the Spirit taught Saint understands the necessity of his own sufferings,
but also acknowledges the necessity of God's mastery of his will for that suffering
to bring forth the "peaceable fruit of
righteousness" (Hebrews 12:11). "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and
to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians
- Value of Pain, Suffering, and Death. Again,
it is entirely appropriate to avoid pain, suffering, and death; but, not at all costs.
The Apostle Peter's First Epistle speaks at length concerning the Christian's Suffering
and the Glory that will follow. "Beloved,
think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you,
as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers
of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be
glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are
ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part He is evil
spoken of, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as
a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.
Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let
him glorify God on this behalf" (1Peter
- How often have we seen ourselves partake of suffering.
i.e., because we were doing right, while we see the unrighteous prosper-- fully engaged
in their sin? John the Baptist was imprisoned and executed, while the ungodly banqueted.
David ran like a hunted animal, while Saul enjoyed the throne of Israel. The Psalmist
recounts his struggle-- and ours-- with the paradox of our suffering and the ungodly's
prospering. "I was envious at the foolish,
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked... Their eyes stand out with fatness: they
have more than heart could wish. They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning
oppression... these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches...
all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning... When I thought
to know this, it was too painful for me; Until I went into the sanctuary of God;
then understood I their end. Surely Thou didst set them in slippery places: Thou
castedst them down into destruction... So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a
beast before Thee... Thou shalt guide me with Thy Counsel, and afterward receive
me to glory... But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in
the LORD GOD, that I may declare all Thy works"
(Psalms 73). Christian, take heart. Our suffering is but momentary, compared to our "exceeding joy"
when Christ's "glory shall be revealed" (1Peter 4:13)!
- When Death is Unavoidable. Life is the
normal and expected thing for the child of God. "I
am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). However, there does come a time when the
LORD may specially reveal to His people that death-- and not life-- is to be expected.
This is exactly what will happen during the Tribulation Week. "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold,
the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall
have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a Crown
Of Life" (Revelation 2:10). In this instance,
suffering and death are only a gateway to a "Crown
- Abundance of Difficulties, But More Abundance
of Grace. God's Overcoming Grace has been the experience of the Saints down through
the ages. "Where sin abounded, grace did
much more abound" (Romans 5:20). It has
rightly been said that our difficulties are God's opportunities. "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole
earth, to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward
Him" (2Chronicles 16:9). Our pain, suffering,
and dying are opportunities to see God's power manifested on our behalf. Unfortunately,
it seems to have been necessary to experience pain, suffering, and dying, for us
to be properly motivated to seek the LORD-- and His holiness. "When He slew them, then they sought Him: and they returned
and enquired early after God" (Psalm 78:34).
True, we should seek Him anyway, but that is the track record of man.
What the Future Holds for Pain, Suffering, and
- No More Tears and Pain. Though tears and
pain will no longer be part of the lives of those Saints who are Raptured Home to
the LORD, Scripture indicates that rebellion will occur on Earth after the Millennium
is completed. "And when the thousand years
are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive
the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather
them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went
up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the
beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them" (Revelation 20:7-9). As dramatic an event as this will
be, the LORD only gives three short verses to accomplish the necessary description.
The sin that brought us pain, suffering, and death will be summarily brought to a
conclusion-- "and fire came down from
God out of heaven, and devoured them".
None of the Godly will mourn at the outcome; instead, they will rejoice!
- Only after this fiery conclusion will there be
the "New Heavens and a New Earth, wherein
dwelleth righteousness" (2Peter 3:13 cp.
Revelation 20). This is where we have the description of the LORD wiping away "all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more
death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the
former things are passed away" (Revelation
21:4). The LORD God Almighty will no longer have any more need for pain, suffering,
and death in His creation. It is ashamed that we made it necessary for God to have
had to use them at all. "Surely the wrath
of man shall praise Thee: the remainder of wrath shalt Thou restrain" (Psalm 76:10).
- No More Sting of Death. One of the most
triumphant passages of the New Testament, is the conclusion of the 15th chapter of
Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians. "Death
is swallowed up in victory" is the LORD's
way of telling us that no more righteous people will die after the Last Trump-- which
is the 7th Trumpet Judgment. [See our article about the Seven Trumpet Judgments,
Timeline: When Shall These Things Be? (Part 3)"
to get a better appreciation of when death will be swallowed up in victory.]
"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall
not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,
at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised
incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption,
and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put
on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought
to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death,
where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin;
and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory
through our LORD Jesus Christ" (1Corinthians
e all have probably concluded long ago that pain,
suffering, and death will have no part of the future for the Righteous, i.e., in
Heaven. The ultimate victory of the Righteous over death is a recurrent theme throughout
the Old Testament Scriptures. The Apostle Paul cited Isaiah 25:8 when he wrote, "Death is swallowed up in victory" (1Corinthians 15:54). But, the prophet Hosea gave us the
most sublime, direct quotation from the lips of Jehovah concerning the Righteous
and the destiny of death. "I will ransom
them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will
be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction"
(Hosea 13:14). Hallelujah!
What we may have neglected is the value of pain, suffering, and dying in our own
sanctification. "It is good for me that
I have been afflicted; that I might learn Thy Statutes" (Psalm 119:71). Much of the progress we have made in our walk with
the LORD has come because we have been subjected to pain, suffering, and even dying.
"For I will shew him [the Apostle Paul] how great
things he must suffer for My name's sake"
(Acts 9:16). Only Eternity will tell all the good that has come from these Unsought
For Companions, i.e., pain, suffering, and death.
"Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because
it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort
it is" (1Corinthians 3:13). Certainly
the Tribulation Week will afford the Body of Christ more opportunities to be sanctified
through contact with these Companions. "But
He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold" (Job 23:10).
May God alone receive the praise for what you accomplish by your pain and suffering--
and even dying. "That God may be all in
all" (1Corinthians 15:28).
Divine Healing ---New Window
A Series of Addresses and a Personal Testimony
by Andrew Murray
Scripture Annotated Version
"Oh, that we could learn to believe in the promises
of God! God has not gone back from His promises; Jesus is still He who heals
both soul and body; salvation offers us even now healing and holiness, and the Holy
Spirit is always ready to give us some manifestations of His power. Even when we
ask why this divine power is not more often seen, He answers us: 'Because of your
unbelief.' The more we give ourselves to experience personally sanctification
by faith, the more we shall also experience healing by faith. These two doctrines
walk abreast. The more the Spirit of God lives and acts in the soul of believers,
the more will the miracles multiply by which He works in the body... On the morrow
Peter repeated these words before the Sanhedrin, 'By
the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth... doth this man stand here before you whole;' and then he added, 'There is none other
name under heaven... whereby we must be saved.' This
statement of Peter's declares to us that the name of Jesus both heals and saves.
We have here a teaching of the highest import for divine healing... I know there
are a great many difficulties about this question of holiness; I know that all do
not think exactly the same with regard to it. But that would be to me a matter of
comparative indifference if I could see that all are honestly longing to be free
from every sin. But I am afraid that unconsciously there are in hearts often compromises
with the idea: 'We cannot be without sin; we must sin a little every day; we cannot
help it.' Oh, that people would actually cry to God: 'Lord, do keep me from sin!'
Give yourself utterly to Jesus, and ask Him to do His very utmost for you in keeping
you from sin." --by Andrew Murray
Section Index for Fellowship
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