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If we could get up in the morning and pick our emotions for the day like we could a pair of slacks, a skirt, or a blouse, none of us would choose to wear pain and suffering.
It would clash with the look we were going for. In fact, everything we do and all our effort put forth is to experience joy, happiness, peace, and fulfillment.
Pain and suffering are often things we strategize to avoid. Even as people of prayer, we pray to avoid many of life's troubles because we know God has our best interest in mind.
So, why do we live with unwanted pain and suffering even with much prayer, good intentions, and strenuous efforts to be good people? The older and wiser we become, and the closer we grow to God, we can begin to recognize good amid all the pain.
In this article, we'll dive into several bible verses about pain and suffering. But first, we'll break down the definition, then share a biblical example of someone who suffered much pain and how he discovered its benefits in the end. You'll be greatly encouraged.
What is Pain and Suffering?
Pain and Suffering can be defined as mental or physical discomfort brought on by someone’s wrongdoing or harmful neglect. It can also refer to emotional trauma, injury, or inconvenience. At times, the pain we are dealing with results from other's actions.
Then, there are other times when it comes from loss, grief, or regret and can stem from depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions that may be hiding underneath the surface.
Whether the pain and suffering you are experiencing is physical or psychological, it can significantly affect many areas of your life. That’s why the Lord never meant for you to go through your trials alone.
He will always be there with you, even when you feel alone. There are also professional counselors and spiritual leaders who can help you navigate seasons of pain.
Scripture reminds us that God can change the outcome even if people don't have the best intentions toward us and cause us pain. The pain may feel bad and look even worse. Still, He can give us the grace to recover well and even give hope to others experiencing difficult times of suffering.
Genesis 50:20 says, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present outcome, that many people would be kept alive [as they are this day].”
This scripture verse comes toward the end of the story about a man named Joseph. He was a dreamer, and at an early age, he was his dad's favorite son.
His dad even gave him a very lovely “coat of many colors.” This was one of the many reasons his ten older brothers hated him.
One day, Joseph dreamed his entire family would bow down to him. Instead of keeping the dream to himself, Joseph shared it with the whole family, and his brother's hatred for him escalated even more. They stripped Joseph of his coat of many colors and threw him into a pit.
The plan was to kill Joseph, but they later decided to sell him into slavery to a caravan of foreigners passing through instead. Afterward, the brothers took the coat, covered it in the blood of an animal, and took it to their dad to make it look like Joseph had been killed by a wild animal. (See Genesis chapter 37).
Joseph went through much pain and suffering over the next thirteen years, going from slavery to working for a governor in Egypt. Then, he was imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit.
While in prison, he met and encouraged two men who had once worked for the Pharaoh. One of the men was unfortunately killed, and the other was restored to his job in Egypt as the Pharaoh’s butler.
Later, Joseph was brought out of prison to solve a problem for the King (Pharaoh in Egypt), and he was promoted to second in command in the land.
Throughout Joseph's life, he continually endured much pain and suffering. He had many lonely days and times of discouragement. However, he never allowed his situation to keep him from losing hope and being an encouragement to others.
He would not have interacted with the butler, and the butler would not have testified of Joseph to the king (which opened up a world of possibilities for Joseph).
Later, Joseph recognized that even though his brothers had bad intentions for him, God used the circumstances of the pain and suffering to establish something good.
If he did it for him, He'll do it for you too. Through Joseph's experiences, he was able to help save his family and everyone in the entire region from famine.
And through your experiences, there is no telling how many people you will reach and give hope to.
Pain, suffering, and emotional distress are inevitable. Still, the Lord has a way of taking what was meant to destroy us and allowing it to work to our benefit.
25 Bible Verses about Dealing with Pain and Suffering
1. 1st Peter 3:13-14
“Now who is there to hurt you if you become enthusiastic for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness [though it is not certain that you will], you are still blessed [happy, to be admired and favored by God]. Do not be afraid of their intimidating threats, nor be troubled or disturbed [by their opposition].”
2. Isaiah 43:2
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you.”
3. Isaiah 53:3-5
“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and pain and acquainted with grief; and like One from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or esteem Him. But [in fact] He has borne our griefs, and He carried our sorrows and pains; yet we [ignorantly] assumed that He was stricken, struck down by God and degraded and humiliated [by Him]. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was crushed for our wickedness [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing]; the punishment [required] for our well-being fell on Him, and by His stripes (wounds) we are healed.”
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and pain and acquainted with grief; and like One from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or esteem Him. But [in fact] He has borne our griefs, and He carried our sorrows and pains; yet we [ignorantly] assumed that He was stricken, struck down by God and degraded and humiliated [by Him]. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was crushed for our wickedness [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing]; the punishment [required] for our well-being fell on Him, and by His stripes (wounds) we are healed.” – Isaiah 53:3-5
4. James 1:12
“Blessed [happy, spiritually prosperous, favored by God] is the man who is steadfast under trial and perseveres when tempted; for when he has passed the test and been approved, he will receive the [victor’s] crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”
5. John 16:33
“I have told you these things so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world, you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.” [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.]”
6. Psalms 34:19
“Many hardships and perplexing circumstances confront the righteous, but the Lord rescues him from them all.”
7. Psalms 119:71
“It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.”
8. Romans 5:3-5
“And not only this but [with joy] let us exult in our sufferings and rejoice in our hardships, knowing that hardship (distress, pressure, trouble) produces patient endurance; and endurance, proven character (spiritual maturity); and proven character, hope and confident assurance [of eternal salvation]. Such hope [in God’s promises] never disappoints us because God's love has been abundantly poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
9. Revelations 21:4
“And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will no longer be death; there will no longer be sorrow and anguish, or crying, or pain; for the former order of things has passed away.”
10. Colossians 1:24
“Now I rejoice in my sufferings on your behalf. And with my own body, I supplement whatever is lacking [on our part] of Christ's afflictions, on behalf of His body, which is the church.”
11. Matthew 5:10-12
“Blessed [comforted by inner peace and God’s love] are those who are persecuted for doing that which is morally right, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever]. “Blessed [morally courageous and spiritually alive with life-joy in God’s goodness] are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil things against you because of [your association with] Me. Be glad and exceedingly joyful, for your reward in heaven is great [absolutely inexhaustible]; for in this same way, they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Blessed [comforted by inner peace and God’s love] are those who are persecuted for doing that which is morally right, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever]. “Blessed [morally courageous and spiritually alive with life-joy in God’s goodness] are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil things against you because of [your association with] Me. Be glad and exceedingly joyful, for your reward in heaven is great [absolutely inexhaustible]; for in this same way, they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” – Matthew 5:10-12
12. 2nd Timothy 3:12
“Indeed, all who delight in pursuing righteousness and are determined to live godly lives in Christ Jesus will be hunted and persecuted [because of their faith].”
13. James 1:2-4
“Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.”
14. 2nd Corinthians 4:8-10
“We are pressured in every way [hedged in], but not crushed; perplexed [unsure of finding a way out], but not driven to despair; hunted down and persecuted, but not deserted [to stand alone]; struck down, but never destroyed; always carrying around in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the [resurrection] life of Jesus also may be shown in our body.”
15. 1st Peter 4:19-21
“For this finds favor if a person endures the sorrow of suffering unjustly because of an awareness of [the will of] God. After all, what kind of credit is there if, when you do wrong and are punished for it, you endure it patiently? But if when you do what is right and patiently bear [undeserved] suffering, this finds favor with God.”
16. Psalms 147:3
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds [healing their pain and comforting their sorrow].”
17. Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
18. Matthew 5:4
“Blessed [forgiven, refreshed by God’s grace] are those who mourn [over their sins and repent], for they will be comforted [when the burden of sin is lifted].”
19. Romans 8:28
“And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.”
20. 1st Peter 1:6-7
“In this, you rejoice greatly, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, which is much more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested and purified by fire, may be found to result in [your] praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
In this, you rejoice greatly, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, which is much more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested and purified by fire, may be found to result in [your] praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” – 1st Peter 1:6-7
21. Romans 15:13
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit, you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises.”
22. Romans 8:38-39
“For I am convinced [and continue to be convinced—beyond any doubt] that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present and threatening, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the [unlimited] love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
23. Psalms 119:50
“This is my comfort in my affliction, that Your word has revived me and given me life.”
24. Psalms 27:13-14
“I would have despaired had I not believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. Wait for and confidently expect the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for and confidently expect the Lord.”
25. Job 5:10-11
“He gives rain upon the earth and sends waters upon the fields, So that He sets on high those who are lowly, and He lifts to safety those who mourn.”
Final Thoughts on Bible Verses about Dealing with Pain and Suffering
When I visited my grandfather on his deathbed, one of the last things he said to me was, “You will go through a lot of things in this life, but just trust God.” No matter the cause of your pain and suffering, I'm so sorry you're going through these challenging experiences.
Be comforted that you don't have to go through them alone. God sees what you're going through and promises to be there for you.
1st Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation (painful trial or test)[regardless of its source] has overtaken or enticed you that is not common to human experience [nor is any temptation unusual or beyond human resistance]; but God is faithful [to His word—He is compassionate and trustworthy], and He will not let you be tempted (tested) beyond your ability [to resist], but along with the temptation (painful trial) He [has in the past and is now and] will [always] provide the way out as well, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy].” May you find His peace, overwhelming joy, happiness, and a sense of purpose to replace the hopelessness and stress of the pain and suffering you may be going through at the moment. God is faithful.
And if you're looking for more bible verses to inspire you, be sure to check out these blog posts:
- 37 Practical Bible Verses About Wisdom and Knowledge
- 25 Important Bible Verses About Practicing Humility
- 21 Bible Verses About Having Self-Control in Your Life