Pain, Pleasure and Love
Pain and Love
Love can be expressed with or without pain. But God chose to us pain to show the depths of his love.¹ A rich man might give away many gifts, and not affect his wealth, but if he loves someone with all his heart, he will be willing to give them all his wealth. God said there is no greater love than to lay one’s life down for his friend. He gave us all his wealth, even though we didn’t deserve it.²
If God loves us so much, why does he let us go through so much pain? We know God loved Jesus, yet his life was filled with sorrows, suffering and grief.³ Jesus knew that all his pain would be worthwhile, and this hope was what gave him the ability to suffer to the point of death on a cross.⁴ We can trust that pain is the best thing for us, because God himself went through it. We might not understand how pain is better than no pain, but by faith we can learn to trust God, like Jesus.
Pleasure and Love
If pain is sometimes God’s will for us, how can we know when and what he wants us to enjoy? How much material possessions are good, should I marry, how much entertainment is good? The definition of love is wanting what’s best for another.⁵ God is so loving that he even gives pleasurable things to the wicked and ungrateful.⁶He promised to withhold no good thing from those who love him.⁷ The only pleasurable thing God will not give us, is sin, because the pleasures of sin results in separation from God and punishment.⁸ All things are permissible and good for us to enjoy, but God commanded us to keep our priority on pleasing him, not on pleasing ourselves.⁹ To do anything other than what God wants is not actually best for us, and is sinful to him.¹⁰If we don’t do God’s will, it shows that we don’t trust that his will is the best possible thing for us. We can enjoy all things such as material possessions, honor, entertainment, romance… as long as it doesn’t hinder what we know God wants us to be doing. To please God is actually the best thing for us, even when it doesn’t feel like it.¹¹ God promised to cause all things to work out for our good, if we trust him.¹² His will is ultimately for our pleasure, and the result of his lovingkindness makes us want to please him; we love because he first loved us.¹³ When we lose our life for him, we will find it, and as he teaches us to trust him, we will become living testimonies of his goodness.¹⁴
① Romans 5:8 ② Genesis 15:1 / Romans 8:32 / Romans 5:8 ③ Hebrews 5:8 / Isaiah 53:3 / Mark 9:7 ④ Philippians 2:8-11 / Hebrews 12:2 ⑤ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ⑥ Matthew 5:45 / Luke 6:35 / Luke 17:17-18 / 1 John 4:8 ⑦ Psalm 84:11 / Romans 8:32 ⑧ Isaiah 59:2 / Romans 6:23 / Hebrews 12:6 ⑨ 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 / 1 Timothy 4:4-5 / Galatians 2:20 / Matthew 22:37-38 ⑩ James 4:17 ⑪ Hebrews 11:24-26 / Luke 22:42 / Matthew 16:25 / Matthew 19:29 / Romans 8:18 ⑫ Romans 8:28 ⑬ Psalm 37:4 / 1 John 4:19 ⑭ Matthew 16:25 / Romans 4:20 / Hebrews 12:2 / Psalm 63:3 / 1 Peter 2:9
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