The Pain God Feels

I must avoid at all costs two mistaken ideas of God, prevalent in our times: first, that God is above pain, and second, that God is below manipulation.  That God is not above pain is clear in the Bible; yet the impressions I get from fellow Christians is that God is as impervious to pain as He is to sin.  Wrong! The two are not synonymous.  God feels pain deeply.  He can be “grieved,” “wearied,” “sorrowed,” and everything else that represents distress over disobedience in His children.  And what about the pain of Calvary, the pain not only of the Son but also for the Father?  It was there the blood of God (acts 20:28) was shed.

God suffers pain only in contact with sin.  The closer the person is to God, the sharper will be the pain in the heart of God over any sin that may appear in him.  One of the “groanings” of Jesus was over the betrayal of Judas, one of the Twelve (John 13:21). He wounded Jesus far more deeply than he wounded himself, so I have the capability of wounding and hurting the One who is the universe to me.  In my trifling with sin, I may not realize how deeply I stab the heart of Him who bought me at so great a price.

God is not the distant, sterile judge we often make Him out to be.  If He is that to us, then we have a sadly inadequate and insufficient view of sin.  If I have a permissive view of sin, then God’s pain becomes a mere trifling irritation that is easily shrugged off.  To me what sin is, I must see Calvary, for there God took its odious, repulsive measure for all eternity. To see what salvation from sin is, I must see my living Intercessor who is able to “sympathize with our weaknesses” and who provides a throne of grace where my sin burden is dealt with until His—and my—pain is gone (Hebrews 4:15-16, NIV).

“And when He went ashore, He saw a great multitude, and he felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things” (Mark 6:34).

W. Glyn Evans “Daily with the King” used with permission