An ache is a warning signal that something is wrong or out of wholeness in our body or emotions. In both areas of our complex being, people have varying degrees or thresholds of hurting and agony we can tolerate. Believers will experience no more pain or sickness in heaven, yet the unbelievers will experience everlasting, extreme pain in the lake of fire (Mt 13:40-43,50; Rev 20:15, 21:4,8).

Jesus, knowing the physical pain of His death was coming, in anguish of prayer asked God, the Father if He could be spared this ordeal, yet submitted to it to provide our salvation (Mt 26:39,42,44; Lk 22:44). Subsequently He was flogged, a crown of thorns was forced on His head and He suffered crucifixion – a slow and extremely horrible death, which He suffered in our place (Mt 27:26,29,35). While His physically suffering was horrendous He was emotionally heartbroken when God turned away as our sin was placed on Him at the cross (Isa 53:3,4; Mk 15:34). Sin always separates from God and because Jesus took our sin, being separated emotionally and spiritually from His Father this pain was of even greater magnitude than the physical agony.

We also experience unpleasant emotional sensations at times, including the pain of loss, regret, brokenness, shame, and of not obeying the voice of the Holy Spirit. The believer knows that all God’s dealings are those of a loving Father, who only permits what is grievous in the short-term in order to

Pain is a motivator to change

accomplish long-term gain that cannot be achieved in a less painful way. David said, “If I had not been afflicted I wouldn’t have learnt your ways” (Ps 119:71). The divine purpose of what we go through is designed to produce in us the nature of Christ (Rom 8:28,29). Even the pain from the human discipline we experience is for our benefit, otherwise later we might regret that we were never loved enough to be corrected (Prov 23:13; Heb 12:5-11).

Mary, the mother of Jesus, experienced humiliation and emotional pain with Joseph almost breaking off their engagement when she had become pregnant by the Holy Spirit before she was married. Jesus, her son was rejected and murdered – yet He was our only hope (Mt 1:18-21, 27:22,26,56).

While we celebrate the success of others, it is more important to journey with them in their pain, providing comfort and assurance we are standing with them.

Emotional pain is mental distress that does not have an identifiable physical cause, yet can also contribute to or worsen physical pain in different areas of the body. Sometimes this is the result of the actions of others, such as sexual abuse in childhood. Other times, it might be the result of regret, grief, loss or low self-esteem. As it can be triggered by past hurtful experiences, there may be a need to seek inner healing of the memories.

  There is far more empathy given to the sufferers of physical injury or pain than received by those with psychological or emotional pain, yet it can be just as debilitating and intense as physical pain. Those who resort to cutting (slicing their flesh superficially with

Bring all your pain to the Healer

a blade) are doing this so the physical pain distracts from the emotional pain, thus offering them relief.

No matter what the cause, this pain can be intense and significantly affect many different areas of a person’s life. Symptoms can include feelings of: sadness, anxiety, depression, loneliness, negative emotions, isolation and broken heartedness.

Emotional pain can be expressed in a variety of ways such as aggression, violence, attempted suicide and withdrawal from society.

Because emotional pain can be so distressing, people often turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, including drugs and alcohol. The problem is that while these methods might provide short-term relief, they cause greater damage in the long-run.

Some healthier options to deal with the psychological causes include talking the issues through with someone (especially Jesus), engaging in physical activity to improve moods and reaching out to others which takes the focus off ourselves.

See also: abuse, anxiety, broken/brokenness, comfort, compassion, depression, emotion, empathy, eternal damnation, grief, healing, humiliation, hurts, inner healing, mental health, moods, outward focused, shame, suffering.