When God’s Plan Includes Pain

Despite what some may teach, God’s plan does not always bring health and wealth. Sometimes it includes unexpected and unexplained pain and heartache. If that’s what you’re experiencing, here are some thoughts I hope will be helpful.

  1. This side of heaven, life will simply have pain. That’s been a reality since the fall of Adam and Eve. For now, we’re messed-up people living in a messed-up world. God will correct it all, but in His time.
  2. We’re in good company in our pain and heartache. Job experienced it. So did Jeremiah. And Jesus. And Paul. And so many others who’ve modeled for us how to trust God when His will hurts.
  3. Pain and heartache aren’t automatically signs of disobedience and judgment. Our sin does, of course, produce pain, but even godly, faithful people sometimes face heartache and agony. Just ask any of the people listed in #2 above.
  4. God uses pain to keep us humble. That’s what He did with Paul’s thorn in 2 Corinthians 12: keep the apostle from exalting himself. And, if you’re convinced you’ve never needed a thorn in your life, you probably have.
  5. We’re not alone in our struggle. God’s Spirit lives in us. He gives us brothers and sisters in Christ to walk with us. If we’re trying to carry the burden by ourselves, we’re missing the gifts God has given us to help us. 
  6. Our witness for Christ is often strongest in our pain. It’s one thing to praise God when we’re on the mountain. It’s another matter to praise Him when the valley is deep – and it’s then that the lost world most takes note of our joy.
  7. God’s peace is not dependent on circumstances. The peace that is beyond comprehension (Phil. 4:7) is not the absence of struggle, conflict, or pain; it’s trust and faith in spite of these things.
  8. Running from God is never the answer. Disobedience cannot bring joy, nor does it free us from pain. It only creates other kinds of heartaches. We must run to God, not from Him, even when we don’t understand His plan.
  9. It’s in these times that faith genuinely matters. Call me weak if you wish, but I would not want to face times of heartache and pain without my relationship with God. He remains our rock.

Let us know if we might pray for you. 


  • Jeff says:

    This hits home today. Sitting in the Drs office with extreme knee pain. I have two funerals later this week and a sermon to finish up. God knew I needed these words. Thank you for ministering to me.

  • Dale Beighle says:

    I am always amazed at the wisdom in your posts and how they speak directly to me. In my feeble way I have been trying to teach the members at our church some of the same things. My message for a future Sunday is about God’s testing. I see a lot of times in the Bible when God tested His people. How do you teach that when someone may not be mature enough to understand or accept it without causing them to “stumble”, without doing damage to their “weak faith”.
    Thanks, dale

  • There are times that we don’t want people to know our demise in life and you don’t have any tears to shed because it has been a long haul that you may hope would end. Sometimes we tend to forget that God never miss a single scene in our lives full sorrows and disappointment upon disappointment.

    However, by the grace of God we learned to put our trust in Him and allow Him to comfort and Father us. Thanks for your great writing. It tremendously ministered to me today. Blessings

  • Jacii says:

    I lost my mom a few weeks ago and I truly rejoice that she’s with Jesus, but I miss her so bad. I’ve been struggling with this intense pain of loss and wondering if maybe it had something to do with a lack of faith. It’s good to know that it’s not due to disobedience and it’s just the pain of losing her. It’s good to know that I’m not alone and that God won’t leave me.

  • Gordon Swaim says:

    My wife and I lost our 35-year-old son Nov. 30 2017 and I still find myself in denial. Your message was uplifting to me. Pray for our peace and strength in this time of loss. May God bless.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.