Pain And Loss

Charles Pogue

Job correctly stated that “Man that is born of woman is of few days, and full of trouble” (Job14:1). Of all of the troubles that people encounter two of the worst are pain and loss. At least those who live well into their adult years will suffer both of those troubles. Even the young or not immune from those troubles, either.

Young or old, people suffer physical pain. As one grows older, the pain increases. The body begins to wear out or break down, and it seems easier to list the places the body does not hurt than the ones where it does. The physical pain that comes from either a serious injury, illness, or old age can be excruciating. However, regardless of the amount of physical pain one may endure, the pain of seeing a loved one, a good friend, or anyone else for that matter who will not live as they should, is far worse. Paul informs us that there was given him a thorn in the flesh. He prayed three times that he be relived from it (2 Cor. 12:8). Whether that thorn was a painful one or just a nuisance to him, we cannot say for sure, but if it was a painful one, take note that in the previous chapter, in the things Paul listed that he suffered for Christ, some of those were physically painful. Yet, that thorn in the flesh is not found in that list, which brings to mind that the sufferings that are spiritual trials are greater than the sufferings of the ones that are strictly physical.

The pain that will be the worst will be that which is endured by those who are lost eternally. Christ declared that in the outer darkness there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 8:12). One who is cast into the lake of fire would be better off to endure the pain of cutting off his hand in this life, than to be cast into that torment, where the fire will never be quenched (Mark 9:43). The physical pain in this life is of short duration, but the pain of being lost in the end will be forever.

At one time or another, people experience loss. Some people lose a good job, some lose all of the physical things they have, maybe through a tornado, fire, hurricane, or some other destructive force of nature. Some experience worse loss, such as losing a child or a spouse. Unless one precedes them in death or loses them in infancy, all of us suffer the loss of parents. The thing that makes loss so difficult is the loneliness that accompanies the loss. There is a greater loss producing loneliness in this world than all the losses mentioned above combined. What loss and loneliness is that? It is when it seems that all or almost all of those around us who have obeyed the Gospel, have abandoned some aspect of the truth. Maybe they hold to error in doctrine or in manner of life. Perhaps they extend the right hand of fellowship to those who are undeserving, leaving you feeling loss and loneliness. It is awful to know the loneliness that comes with the feeling that no one in your close physical presence is standing with you for the right and against the wrong.

As great as those losses are, there is one even greater than them all, and that is the loss that produces that terrible unending pain we mentioned before. That, of course, is the loss of one’s soul. Two of the most important things we learn from Jesus’ teaching are that nothing is worth a person’s soul (Matt. 16:26), and that those who lose their souls will go away into everlasting punishment (Matt. 25:46).

As great as the pain in our physical bodies can be, spiritual pain is worse, and the pain of hell will be greater than it all. As great as physical losses producing loneliness are, they are not as great as seeing those we love in error, but even that does not equal the loss one will experience if he loses his own soul.

The lesson is, if we trust in and obey God, as great as the pain and loss is here in this life, the time will come when there will never again be either one of those afflictions. There will be nothing but joy in heaven, thus, through faith let us bear up under those troubles that, as Job says, come in life’s few days.

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Author: bible

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