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Mind, Character and Personality, volume 2

Chapter 55

Pain

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Not God Who Causes Pain.-Show that it is not God who causes pain and suffering, but that man through his own ignorance and sin has brought this condition upon himself.-Testimonies for the Church 6:280 (1900).

Sin Has Produced Pain.-The continual transgression of man for six thousand years has brought sickness, pain, and death as its fruits. And as we near the close of time, Satan's temptation to indulge appetite will be more powerful and more difficult to overcome.-Testimonies for the Church 3:492 (1875).

Aches and Pains Nature's Protest.-Many are living in violation of the laws of health and are ignorant of the relation their habits of eating, drinking, and working sustain to their health. They will not arouse to their true condition until nature protests against the abuses she is suffering, by aches and pains in the system. If even then the sufferers would only commence the work right, and would resort to the simple means they have neglected-the use of water and proper diet-nature would have just the help she requires and which she ought to have had long before. If this course is pursued, the patient will generally recover without being debilitated.-Healthful Living, 61, 1865 (Part 3). (Selected Messages 2:451.)

Intemperance Causes Suffering.-Many are so devoted to intemperance that they will not change their course of indulging in gluttony under any considerations. They would sooner sacrifice health and die prematurely than to restrain their intemperate appetite. And there are many who are ignorant of the relation their eating and drinking has to health. Could such be enlightened, they might have moral courage to deny the appetite and eat more sparingly and of that food alone which was healthful, and by their own course of action save themselves a great amount of suffering.-4SG 130, 1864. (Counsels on Diet and Foods, 158.)

Pain Caused by Restoring Processes.-Pain is frequently caused by the effort of nature to give life and vigor to those parts that have become partially lifeless through inaction.-Testimonies for the Church 3:78 (1872).

Suffering Exaggerated by Mental Attitude (a personal message).-If you had denied your taste for reading and seeking to please yourself, had devoted more time to prudent physical exercise, and had eaten carefully of proper, healthful food, you would have avoided much suffering. A part of this suffering has been imaginary. If you had braced your mind to resist the disposition to yield to infirmities, you would not have had nervous spasms. Your mind should be drawn away from yourself to household duties, keeping your house with order, neatness, and taste.-Testimonies for the Church 2:434 (1870).

Sufferers Inclined to Become Impatient.-The sufferers can do for themselves that which others cannot do as well for them. They should commence to relieve nature of the load they have forced upon her. They should remove the cause. Fast a short time, and give the stomach chance for rest. Reduce the feverish state of the system by a careful and understanding application of water. These efforts will help nature in her struggles to free the system of impurities.

But generally the persons who suffer pain become impatient. They are not willing to use self-denial, and suffer a little from hunger. Neither are they willing to wait the slow process of nature to build up the overtaxed energies of the system. But they are determined to obtain relief at once, and take powerful drugs.-Healthful Living, 60, 1865 (Part 3). (Selected Messages 2:450, 451.)

Suffering Over Which We Have No Control.-There are those who are pure-minded and conscientious who are sufferers from different causes over which they have no control.-AM 23, 1864. (Child Guidance, 445.)

Not Hidden From Jesus Christ.-What a wonderful thought it is that Jesus knows all about the pains and griefs we bear. In all our afflictions He was afflicted. Some among our friends know nothing of human woe or physical pain. They are never sick, and therefore they cannot enter fully into the feelings of those who are sick. But Jesus is touched with the feeling of our infirmity.-MS 19, 1892. (Selected Messages 2:237.)

God Vitally Interested in Man's Suffering.-He will not be held guiltless who neglects to relieve suffering on the Sabbath. God's holy rest day was made for man, and acts of mercy are in perfect harmony with its intent. God does not desire His creatures to suffer and hour's pain that may be relieved upon the Sabbath or any other day.-The Desire of Ages, 207 (1898).

Trusting When in Pain.-Your mind may often be clouded because of pain. Then do not try to think, but just rest and show that you have committed your soul to God as unto a faithful Creator. It is your privilege to show in your weakness and suffering that you do not doubt the love of God toward you, that you know that He is faithful who has promised, and that you trust soul and body in His hands, that He will keep that which is committed to His trust.

Let your mind dwell upon the goodness of God, upon the great love wherewith He has loved us, as evidenced in the work of redemption. If He did not love us and consider us of value, then this great sacrifice would not have been made. He is beneficent in mercy and in grace. Let your heart and mind be at rest like a tired child in the arms of its mother. His everlasting arms are beneath you. In all your afflictions Jesus is afflicted....

Hide in Him, and the wicked one will not harass or confuse your faith. Jesus has bequeathed His peace to you.

"Strong is the strength which God supplies/Through His eternal Son." ...

The word of His grace is manna to the believing soul. The precious promises of the word are life, sweetness, and peace.-Lt 16, 1896.

Suffering No Excuse for Unchristlike Actions.-During the past night I have slept but little. I tried to look to Jesus, to place myself in the hands of the Great Physician. He has said, "My grace is sufficient for thee." The grace of Christ leads men to speak right words under all circumstances. Bodily suffering is no excuse for unchristlike actions.-MS 19, 1892.

Rising Above Pain.-Often invalids can resist disease simply by refusing to yield to ailments and settle down in a state of inactivity. Rising above their aches and pains, let them engage in useful employment suited to their strength. By such employment and the free use of air and sunlight, many an emaciated invalid might recover health and strength.-The Ministry of Healing, 246 (1905).

Use of Remedies Not a Denial of Faith.-If they take the position that in praying for healing they must not use the simple remedies provided by God to alleviate pain and to aid Nature in her work, lest it be a denial of faith, they are taking an unwise position. This is not a denial of faith; it is in strict harmony with the plans of God.

When Hezekiah was sick, the prophet of God brought him the message that he should die. He cried unto the Lord, and the Lord heard His servant and worked a miracle in his behalf, sending him a message that fifteen years should be added to his life. Now one word from God, one touch of the divine finger, would have cured Hezekiah instantly, but special directions were given to take a fig and lay it upon the affected part, and Hezekiah was raised to life. In everything we need to move along the line of God's providence.-HPMMW 54, 1892. (Counsels on Health, 381, 382.)

A Disposition to Cause Pain Is Satanic.-It is because of man's sin that "the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together" (Romans 8:22). Suffering and death were thus entailed, not only upon the human race, but upon the animals. Surely, then, it becomes man to seek to lighten, instead of increasing, the weight of suffering which his transgression has brought upon God's creatures. He who will abuse animals because he has them in his power is both a coward and a tyrant.

A disposition to cause pain, whether to our fellowmen or to the brute creation, is satanic. Many do not realize that their cruelty will ever be known, because the poor dumb animals cannot reveal it. But could the eyes of these men be opened, as were those of Balaam, they would see an angel of God standing as a witness to testify against them in the courts above. A record goes up to heaven, and a day is coming when judgment will be pronounced against those who abuse God's creatures.-Patriarchs and Prophets, 443 (1890).

Do Not Cause Deeper Pain.-Oh, let no word be spoken to cause deeper pain! To the soul weary of a life of sin, but knowing not where to find relief, present the compassionate Saviour. Take him by the hand, lift him up, speak to him words of courage and hope. Help him to grasp the hand of the Saviour.-The Ministry of Healing, 168 (1905).

Christ's Anguish Greater Than Bodily Pain.-But bodily pain was but a small part of the agony of God's dear Son. The sins of the world were upon Him, also the sense of His Father's wrath as He suffered the penalty of the law transgressed. It was these that crushed His divine soul. It was the hiding of His Father's face-a sense that His own dear Father had forsaken Him-which brought despair.

The separation that sin makes between God and man was fully realized and keenly felt by the innocent, suffering Man of Calvary. He was oppressed by the powers of darkness. He had not one ray of light to brighten the future. And He was struggling with the power of Satan, who was declaring that he had Christ in his power, that he was superior in strength to the Son of God, that the Father had disowned His Son, and that He was no longer in the favor of God any more than himself. If He was indeed still in favor with God, why need He die? God could save Him from death.-Testimonies for the Church 2:214 (1869).