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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Painful or Painless?"

July 31, 2004

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“Why is my pain unending and my wound grievous and incurable?” Jeremiah 15:18

I sit in the dentist’s office getting two teeth filled. Is it painful or painless? Thanks to modern dentistry, the affected areas are numbed once the needle penetrates the gums with the anesthetic. But few people enjoy the process. This minor procedure causes me to reflect on the purpose of pain in our lives.

Jeremiah, rejected and discouraged in his ministry, cries out to God, “Why is my pain unending and my wound grievous and incurable?” He compares his discouragements with a terminal illness, bringing unending pain. God answers him, “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve Me” (Jeremiah 15:19). God doesn’t promise an easy, pain-free life. He doesn’t let Jeremiah engage in self-pity. He simply promises to be with Jeremiah as he speaks the Word of God.

To understand the purpose of pain, look to Jesus, who endured untold pain and suffering. He suffered physically, emotionally, and spiritually. But through it all God the Father made His Son the instrument of salvation for the world. Saved by Christ’s painful death, we begin to see the value of pain in our lives. Pain turns us to God for help. Forgiven and restored, we then serve Him as we reach out to others. He promises to be with us in the midst of pain. And He understands our pain, because He Himself suffered for us.

With Him at our side, trusting in His promises, we find it easier to endure the pain that comes to us in this fallen world.

PRAYER: O Lord, when I suffer pain and loss in my life, be with me to sustain and comfort me. Amen.

(Devotions from “My Daily Devotion” by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988 CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit

Today's Bible Readings: Psalms 116-118    1 Thessalonians 4

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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