Why did God create pain? Dr. Paul W. Brand was a gifted orthopedic surgeon who ministered in Vellore, India alongside a relative of mine, Dr. Ida Scudder.

In Vellore, Dr. Brand and his wife first came across victims of leprosy. Touched by the plight of these helpless, suffering people, they dedicated themselves to relieving their suffering.

Dr. Brand soon discovered that those with leprosy were losing their hands and feet, not from the disease itself, but from the disease destroying their nerves. He found that leprosy attacks mainly the nervous system. The resultant tissue damage occurs because the patient loses the warnings of pain — not because of inherent decay brought on by the disease. Dr. Brand had discovered the gift of pain.

Someone has written the following list based on Dr. Brand’s study, and I could not say it better myself.

10 Reasons to Believe in a God Who Allows Suffering:

  1. Suffering comes with the freedom to choose.
  2. Suffering reveals what is in our own hearts.
  3. Suffering takes us to the edge of eternity.
  4. God can turn suffering around for our good.
  5. Pain can warn us of danger.
  6. In times of crisis, we find one another.
  7. Suffering gives the opportunity to trust God.
  8. Pain loosens our grip on life.
  9. God suffers with us in our sufferings.
  10. God’s comfort is greater than our suffering.

You cannot choose your suffering, but you are free to choose how you will respond to it. You can concentrate on the pain, the heartache, the disappointment, the disease — the problem — or you can concentrate upon God, the Solution. When you choose to look upon God in your afflictions, you will experience His comfort, gain a better understanding of your circumstances, and be able to trust Him to turn the problem into something profitable. Then you will have the means to comfort others in their sufferings. This is the gift of pain — don’t sell it short.


Excerpted from Why Life Hurts by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr. ©2012. Also available on Amazon Kindle for purchase.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.