‘Neither Will Pain Be Any More’
“NO MORE pain! What welcome news that would be!” exclaims the chronic sufferer. “But it will never be,” you may conclude. “Men will never fully conquer suffering.” True, if the end of pain depended upon imperfect, selfish men it would never come, but it does not. The end of pain is promised by God himself and therefore is sure to come.
The inspired apostle John in his apocalyptic vision heard a voice from the throne of God say: “Look! the tent of God is with humankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be any more. The former things have passed away.” Is not that what we should expect of an almighty God that loves his creatures? Surely!—Rev. 21:3, 4.
For some six thousand years now man has been in bondage to pain, physical, mental and emotional. The sufferings of the deranged mind are indescribable. Then there are the most intense kinds of physical pain, those caused by certain types of cancer, by angina pectoris and by the jaw affliction known as tic douloureux. Causing much suffering also are the emotional stresses of fear, guilt, worry and frustration. Well did the apostle Paul observe that “all creation keeps on groaning together and being in pain together until now.”—Rom. 8:22.
Today many pain killers can be obtained at the corner drugstore. When these fail, there is recourse to the physician and surgeon, and it is of comfort to know that these are able to do ever more in deadening pain. But in spite of all their efforts, widespread bondage to pain of all kinds continues, and many become very bitter because of such bondage. Some even curse God because of their sufferings, as Job’s wife suggested that he do because of what he was enduring. Such, an attitude, as Job himself observed, is foolish to say the least.—Job 2:9, 10.
In the first place, let us note that pain is not an unmixed evil. Far from it! Pain is a wise provision of the Creator to alert us to danger. Persons whose bodies are wholly insensitive to pain—and there are such—are very unfortunate. Some of these have walked about for days with a fractured bone, wholly unaware of their condition. Others have severely burned themselves on stoves and radiators or otherwise injured themselves unknowingly because of being unable to feel any pain. However, while God wisely created us with the capacity for sensation, including pain, he did not purpose us to be in bondage to pain.
That bondage cannot be blamed upon God but upon our first parents. When, due to their selfish disobedience, they were sentenced to return to the ground out of which they were taken, God said to Eve: “I shall greatly increase the pain of your pregnancy; in birth pangs you will bring forth children.” And to Adam: “Cursed is the ground on your account. In pain you will eat its produce all the days of your life.” Not that God arbitrarily decreed that man and woman must suffer, but rather that pain is the concomitant of imperfection, sin and death; it is part of the dying process.—Gen. 3:16-19.
What about the many who are in bondage to pain because of their own follies? They may have overindulged in food or liquor over the years, or gone to other extremes as regards pleasure or work. How much suffering has been caused by carelessness at home, in factories and on the highway! Surely, many who blame God, if honest, would have to admit that they could with better reason blame themselves.
We should not overlook the fact that our mental attitude toward pain can either increase or diminish its severity. Reasoning upon it may help us to bear it, or even rejoice over it, as did the apostles because they had been accounted worthy to suffer for Christ. Then again, by occupying our minds with something else or keeping busy we may be able to forget our pain, at least temporarily.—Acts 5:40, 41.
Thus God’s Word helps us to bear pain, for it not only tells us why He has permitted it but assures us that it will soon end. Foremost among God’s reasons for permitting pain is to prove Satan a liar when he boasted that he could turn all men away from God. Thus, as we read at Job 2:1-11, God permitted Satan to afflict Job to test his integrity. Was it worth while? It most certainly was. It vindicated Jehovah God by proving Satan the Devil a liar and brought rich rewards to Job. When God’s purpose in this regard has been fully served, man’s bondage to pain will end.—Job 42:12-17; Jas. 5:11.
Further, as we have noted, bondage to pain is a concomitant of imperfection, sin and death. Since it is God’s purpose to end these evils on the basis of his Son’s sacrifice and by means of his kingdom, bondage to pain will also end. (John 1:29) In God’s due time obedient ones will receive the benefits of Christ’s sacrifice under the Kingdom for which we have been praying. In it Christ will reign until he has put all enemies under his feet, including bondage to pain and the last enemy, death. (1 Cor. 15:25, 26) Yes, then God “will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be any more.” Then the prophetic words that now have a spiritual application will also have a literal fulfillment: “Bless Jehovah, O my soul, . . . who is healing all your diseases.” “And no resident will say: ‘I am sick.’”—Rev. 21:4; Ps. 103:1, 3; Isa. 33:24.
When will all this begin to take place? In our day. Fulfillment of Bible prophecy shows we are living at the end of this old system of things and at the threshold of a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness is to dwell; a world without sin, without death and without pain.—2 Pet. 3:13.
So let all take comfort and hope. Instead of rebelling at your lot, pray to God for strength to endure patiently and cheerfully while you look forward to the blessed day when there will be no more pain.