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Why Should Pain Come Into The Lives Of Children?
(Part 2 of 2 in series)
* all [bracketed] words in Scripture verses are mine *
A dear lady named Lisa commented on my hub-article, "The Age-Old Question: Why Does A Loving God Allow Pain And Suffering? " She seemed to accept that pain comes into the lives of people all around this world but confessed that she had trouble with the fact that children were the target of such heinous crimes that her mind and heart could not understand why this may happen. She was indeed upset and distraught and I felt her suffering for them. I promised her that I would put my head to writing this article about that aspect of pain in the realm of human existence. Lisa, I hope this helps. Maybe some of the rest of the community here can add more points that will ease the pain of so many who contemplate the plight of these innocent ones.
This is a topic that has an answer, but both the question and answer cause so much uneasiness that often people don't want to think of it until some hideous act happens in the news or even right next door, or worse, something happens to a loved one - then they have no choice but to ponder:
Why should pain come into the lives of children?
The answer is not said easily, when a truthful answer is given. When you consider them, children are so innocent and vulnerable in our eyes. They trust because they have to. They are hurt because they trust, often.
It starts even before they are born. Sinners murder children by the tens of thousands every year. They pass a law and suddenly it is legal to murder children in the most hideous ways imaginable while they still are growing in the womb. They are vacuumed into pieces and burnt with strong saline. And that's even before they are born! Living human creations, designed by the hand of God, murdered each and every day for the convenience of sinners, a direct result of human sin.
There are other sickening facets to this question. What about the children abducted by rapists and torturers? What about the ones that are just in homes where they are demeaned every day, beaten and taught to hate? The question's facets are too numerous to mention and disturbing as H-E-L-L, literally. Telling it like it is and with facts from the Scriptures, though it is complete truth, will not be easy to hear. It may seem that I am at times too cold or too objective, but the situation has hard truths that seem like that. I apologize to any who may be offended because that isn't my intent, but just to give an account of a desperate situation in which all of humanity exists, including our precious little ones.
Understanding The Origin Of Pain And Nature Of Pain
Pain is a hard concept for anyone. Pain is unacceptable to the thoughts of the majority of people in America. We are taught to deem any discomfort at all as pain, to be avoided and dreaded at all costs. A little headache, we reach for an aspirin. A stomach discomfort from eating too much, we are reaching for the Pepto. A sneeze is covered by a thousand OTC products trying to prevent even one. When the Bible says pain is necessary to the growth and development of God's children, we recoil at the thought. Why, what have I done, what have the children done to deserve this? Out of which door can I run to escape it?
The truth is that we humans are sinners . We all sinned when our federal head Adam sinned. "In Adam" we all have sinned. We sin because our father sinned. Our father sinned because his father sinned, all the way back to our first father. When sin entered into our world, so did death, evil, lusts, crimes, murders and unimaginable horrors of every kind. These effect all of us including, and as we will see, especially our children. As heinous as these crimes are especially when they effect children, a fact usually is missed about sin in general. The truth is that God's Holy Spirit holds sin back. Yes, without God's intervention on mankind's behalf the horror would be even greater than we see today. It's hard to imagine that evil has beenheld back in today's twisted world but the Bible says just that. The Holy Spirit holds back and restrains evil in this world from hurting as much as the Devil would like to hurt, until the Rapture, when Evil will hold sway for the last seven years of this world's existence.
"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." (1 Corinthians 15:22)
"And now you know what is restraining, that he [anti-christ] may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He [the Holy Spirit] who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way [in the rapture]." (2 Thessolonians 2:7-8)
"For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words." (1 Thessolonians 4:14-18)
The real sad fact is that children as tender and helpless as they are, are not spared the effect of sin in their lives. I wish it were so, but it is not. "In sin my mother conceived me," wrote the Psalmist. Children murder children. Children murder parents. Adults kill and torture children. Children are in this whole sick mess which we've created.
The Bible speaks of children offered in sacrifice to false gods in ancient times. The god Molech was a statue that worshippers would stoke a fire in a place in its belly and when the hands became red hot worshippers would place their children there in those metal hands, burning them to some idol, for the idea of successful crops and livestock. In other words for convenience and money. Today people are still killing little ones for convenience and money.
"And they built high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination." (Jeremiah 32:35)
Understanding The Love Of God
God said, "Let Us make man in Our image." With these words mankind was spoken into existence. What direction would this new kind of creature take in their collective lives? What were the pitfalls that would befall them with which God would have to deal? The Omniscient God of the universe did not have to wait to find out. He knew. He knew that evil lurked around the corner and would tempt His perfect creation, man. He knew that when the temptation was offered, sin would enter the human body, into the human family, and death would result through this sin. Adam's loins contained all the humans that would ever be born. His children would be born with the defective trait - sin. Each one would be born into sin and succumb to sin's evil and thus sin's "wages," death.
"Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." (Genesis 1:26-27)
"Therefore just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned." (Romans 5:12)
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
It would seem to me that when this was accomplished, Satan was laughing with delight, thinking that he had won a great victory. I guess in a way he was right, for he had inserted pain into the life of God Himself, something that he really wanted to do. A stab in the eye of One who loved His creation man and cared for Him. God was his enemy and this was the only way to hurt an all-powerful God, by hurting someone He loved with His whole heart. So God looked though the as yet to happen annals of time and saw that his creation was to fall and would need to be redeemed.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
"And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring , who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." (Revelation 12:17)
Having fashioned us with His own hand, with the word of His power, He knew He would have to provide the redemption as well to each individual human, one at a time. He (God) would have to be born as a human, with a fleshly body, but blood not from Adam, tainted with sin. Sin is passed through the blood because "the life of the flesh is in the blood." How could someone have the body of a human without sin? Jesus, the Son, the One who created man would become man . He would be born of woman, Mary, and be conceived by the Holy Ghost (God). Science now knows that the gene for blood comes from the male chromosome. There was no human father. The Holy Spirit of God was the Father of the baby, spotless, untainted by sin's hideous curse. "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us."
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:1, 14)
"For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: "who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth"; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness - by whose stripes you were healed." (1 Peter 2:21-24)
What love! What a sacrifice! to come down from glory in the form of a creature that was in a fallen state, committing such ugliness of sins! What humility! to lay aside His robes of divinity to take on the form of a servant and to be obedient to the will of God! He was all human and all God at the same time. That is hard to wrap your mind around, but it is the truth. God became flesh because He loved every one of His children. His children were suffering and dying, doomed to an eternity apart from God in outer darkness.
"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:5-11)
"For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:15)
"There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth... Then the king said to the servants, "Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness [away from the presence of God in a place designed for Satan and His demons]; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 8:12; 22:13)
Understanding The Position Of Each Person Before God
The provision of salvation was laid before mankind. Each person would be drawn individually by the Holy Spirit to Jesus. Before Jesus' coming in the flesh, the Holy Spirit would draw individuals to Him and illuminate to them about a coming Messiah. That individual would then have the choice to put faith in the Jesus to come. After Jesus advent to this earth, men had the opportunity to put faith in the Messiah that had come. The Holy Spirit still drawing each man individually to Him.
"If I be lifted up [on the cross] I will draw all men to Myself."
"And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heal." (Genesis 3:15)
"For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." (Romans 4:3)
People would have the opportunity to have a relationship with God, individually as they looked to the God of Creation. "Just" Men such as Enoch, Abel, and Noah were drawn and they responded, having hearts turned to the God of creation. Then God used Abraham to reveal Himself a bit more to humanity. He called him out of his homeland and through him created a people for His name. He gave them, Abraham's children, His law and revealed more of Himself, putting into words more things about the Messiah to come. People now had a better idea of how to embrace the Savior that was to be, and thus be justified, to be just men. Then the time ordained came. for Jesus to be born and He tore off the blinders that remained on the eyes of men and totally revealed God. John said that human hands handled the very robes of God! Their eyes beheld the very person of God, in the Person of Jesus Christ! They could now receive Him with their senses as well, receive His person.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God ...And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:1, 14)
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life ." (1 John 1:1)
"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power." (Colossians 2:9)
"If you had known Me, you would have known my Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him ." Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father?'" (John 14:7-9)
Then He announced to the ones He was close to that He was going to die, but that He would send Another Helper. The Greek words for this is Allos Perakletos which literally translates "another Helper of the same nature as He". This Comforter would live in each individual receiving Christ as Savior. He (the Holy Spirit) would continue to woo unbelievers as before the incarnation but now He would indwell them so it would be true what Jesus said to his followers, "I will never leave you or forsake you." All a person has to do is call on the name of Jesus and he would be saved, indwelt and redeemed.
"And I will pray the Father, and He will Give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever - the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you ." (John 14:16-17)
Understanding The Unique Position Of Children Before God
This method of conversion would present a problem for children though. A child cannot understand their sin. Some children who are not babies could somewhat understand the concept, but be too immature to understand it's implication for eternity. How could they enter the kingdom of Jesus?
Children are in a unique position before God. It isn't that a child is less of a sinner. No, indeed they are as much sinners as adults before a holy God. But God is not unaware that these tiny sinners cannot ask for forgiveness. He lovingly watches out for them and counts them as redeemed until they have reached an age of understanding where they are aware of their own sin and can be drawn to ask Jesus into their heart to save them.
"Behold I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me." (Psalm 51:5)
"Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father in heaven." (Matthew 18:10)
"Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, "Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me." (Mark 9:36-37)
"Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it." And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them." (Mark 10:15-16)
Learning To Trust God
We as human caretakers of children are awarded these bundles of joy to goo goo at and show off, we beam with happiness at the beauty of such innocence. They look like us and begin to mimic our traits. They are so fragile, vulnerable to hurt and pain. It is hard to believe that anyone could actually wish them harm in any way but our enemy is insane. He is insane with rage, with jealousy, with frustration. He wants to cause as much pain and suffering to an Almighty God as he can. There really isn't anything Satan can do to the Person of God, for God is omnipotent. How frustrating for the devil. Each plan that Satan devises, is undone by God's intervention and ends in God's Glory. That would make anyone mad, wouldn't it? Well this loser Satan, is in an insane rage and with no way to vent it on God so he takes it out on precious little lives, the more innocent the better, the more shocking and outrageous the better. Each instance, makes a statement, "Take that God! How do you like that?"
God knows and is in control of everything (and this is the hard part to hear). Almost everyone has a story and most have one in their own family - tragedies and crimes done to innocent ones. This is the enemy's design. Hurt, torture, kill an innocent and then have someone say, "See! Where is a loving God when you need Him?" The depth of pain of people losing a baby or child to a twisted criminal is indescribable. It's hard to tell them that God knows what happened and allowed it for a greater good. When you do the question comes bursting forth, "What pray tell would that be? How could any good come from the death of my baby, or anyone's baby?" Those parents and others that cannot see objectively because of the pain many times grow beyond the pain in time. As people heal and can think about it in a less painful way, they realize this little life had a great impact on everyone that it touched. On each parent, on relatives, on doctors and community. With the loss of every life, lives are changed for God and people get their lives straightened and are saved because of the presence and early removal of a human life that is dear to the Lord. Even some criminals, in time, are changed because of the powerful unspoken testimony of the life of a little child. There is an interesting verse that I put in the comments to Lisa that I believe helps with this but upon further thinking I decided it right to copy the whole reply to her because it helps to put this type of tragedy in some perspective.
My Comment To Lisa:
"I prayed very hard about how to answer you, Lisa. I know how very many times I've seen the injustice done by one individual to another and it is hard to see or hard to hear about. When it is done to a child who can't defend himself, it is even worse. I get indignant and have to remind myself of the Scriptures and that I know God is faithful to them. Sin has wrought a mark on humanity and Jesus took all of this crud upon Himself for us. I believe that no one could ever imagine the wrath that came down upon the Son as he took the punishment for all of this hideousness that we see. We know that God hates it when things are done to a child.
"But whoever causes one of these little ones that believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drown in the depths of the sea." (Matthew 18:6)
This is the way the devil knows he can hurt an omnipotent God - to hurt children.
"When my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me." (Psalm 27:5)
"For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock." (Psalm 27:5)
I believe this Scripture to apply to a child who is harmed. God loves them and at the time that their body is damaged or their mind is hurt in any way, God hides them in in His Pavillion and they don't feel what is happening. Very often they even forget the trauma or even that it happened at all. Those that remember can overcome the hurt with the Lord and then the trauma will be part of the child's strength. God is faithful to children and even though it seems that He has left them, He has not. Those children who lose their lives are present with the Lord, in His care and love, healed from all the pain. Lisa, I know that this is a hard topic. I can see you are a woman of compassion and it hurts your heart even to think of such things. Believe in God. He takes care even when it is not apparent to us. I hope this helps a little. Much Love, Bob.
I hope Dear Reader, that you took from this article that a person suffers in this life but need not suffer for an eternity apart from a God that loves them. I hope that clear was the message that Jesus died for the very things that so upset us and He loves each and every person on this earth. He wants you to reach out to Him and to become His child because life is too short and things can happen unexpectedly and quickly. There are no guarantees because we are but a wisp of air, a vapor that appears for a short time and then vanishes away. God wants you to see that He stands with arms outstretched for you and waits for you to come to Him. He will not force You to come to Him. He knows you are in pain and hopes You will not suffer for nothing. Turn to Him and allow Him to love you as His child. Pray this:
Dear Lord Jesus: I hurt when I see children hurting. I hurt and don't understand what possible good can come of it. But I am convinced that You loved them and me enough to die on a cross. I know you died so that You could set all of this world right. I believe that You, Jesus, are God and that You came in human flesh. I believe that You died, were buried and resurrected in three days to pay for my sin. I know I am a sinner and I ask you to forgive me of my sin and save me. I turn from my way of life and turn to You as the only Way of salvation. Thank you for hearing my prayer and saving me for I have prayed this prayer in the holy name of Jesus. Amen.