We all have a natural fear of pain, and a profound fear of prolonged pain. Pain without meaning is weakening. Pain with meaning, such as giving birth to a child, can be borne with a sense of purpose. Though we fear pain, pain is one experience that unites us as human beings. The deepest pain is spiritual. A man, let’s call him Jake, recently discovered his girlfriend was seeing another man. Jake also suffered from multiple illnesses. In the chaplain’s office, bent over with his head on the chaplain’s desk, Jake said, “I would choose my physical pain any time compared to this pain of betrayal.” People in the Bible faced both physical and spiritual pain.

The following Scriptures help us understand how they, and possibly we, find meaning in the midst of suffering.

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