-So Why Do We Have Pain?

So why do we have pain? C.S. Lewis, in his classic book, The Problem of Pain, states the issue as follows: "If God were good, he would wish to make his creatures perfectly happy, and if God were almighty, he would be able to do what he wished. But the creatures are not happy. Therefore God lacks either the goodness, or power, or both." [v] Lewis replies to this by saying that we need to look more closely at erroneous assumptions built into the words "all-powerful" and "good".

The "all-powerfulness" of God is taken to mean that God can do anything. But this view is misguided. Having made the universe to work in certain, consistent ways, God does not arbitrarily change these laws whenever potential harm rears its head. If God kept changing the way things normally operate in the universe, it would be impossible for us to rise to genuine challenges or act responsibly within it. Lewis also examines how people tend to misunderstand "divine goodness". We tend to view goodness as merely making us happy all the time. We need to see that for God, loving kindness is giving us what is ultimately best for us. If suffering brings us closer to Him, then it is good. Perhaps one of Lewis' most famous quotes is: "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world." [vi]

In the Christian worldview, pain is a result of the Fall of Man. Sorrow, pain, and death, are part of the curse found in Genesis 3:16-19. God said to Eve, "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children..." He said to Adam, "cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life..." Pain was never a part of God's original creation and the day will come when it will be eradicated from the New Earth that He will create. Revelation 21:4 states. "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, or crying, neither shall there be any more pain."

 

-Curtis Owen

Counseling Pastor