“So, what do you do when the pain is so deep that you can’t think of anything else but the pain? ” Dr. Paul Tripp



Have you ever experienced something so painful that you wanted to shut down and never turn back on? Have you ever felt so crushed that, at least for the moment, you couldn’t imagine ever getting back up?

For me, it was the physical trauma that accompanied my kidney damage.

I will never be able to describe it to you adequately. This was pain like I never knew existed. My body went into spasms, and the pain was focused on my groin area, where it felt like someone had stuck me with a knife.

The spasms came with ferocity every two or three minutes. The pain was so intolerable that involuntary screams came out of me for thirty-six hours straight.

As I screamed, I couldn’t understand why someone in the hospital didn’t do something to relieve my pain. My son Ethan explained it to me: “Dad, they’re not worried about your pain right now; they’re worried about saving your life. They’ll give you something for your pain when you’re stable.”

After a particularly horrible and longer-than-usual spasm, in tears, I looked at Luella and told her I wanted to die.



Maybe you won’t experience acute physical suffering like mine. Still, you will inevitably encounter some form of physical, emotional, or relational agony in this fallen world — the deterioration of your health, sudden inexplicable loss of your job, the death of a loved one, being abandoned or betrayed by someone you thought you could trust, the collapse of a lifelong dream.

So, what do you do when the pain is so deep that you can’t think of anything else but the pain?

For me, in between the screams that the spasms triggered, the only words I could muster were, “God, help me! God, help me! God, help me!”

Why was that simple, almost cliché, prayer so needed and comforting?

Because the One to whom I was crying was not distant; He was near.

The central lie of Satan to all God’s suffering children comes in the form of this question: “Where is your God now?” The lie embedded in this question is that our suffering is clear evidence that God has forsaken us.

Meanwhile, the Bible presents us with this promise from Joshua 1:5 (and numerous other passages) – “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

I’ll be honest — suffering defeated me. There were times when the pain was too much, but in all the emotional and spiritual ups and downs, on the good days and the bad days, whether I fought or succumbed, one thing was sure: my Lord was with me (as He is for you) and there is no struggle without nor war within that will ever drive Him away. His presence guarantees you will have everything you need even amid your suffering.

So, when the pain is too painful, you don’t have to waste your spiritual and emotional energy on the fear that your Heavenly Father will forsake you.

He is in you, He is with you, He is for you, and He will never leave.

God bless,

Paul David Tripp

P.S.: To read more about the lies of Satan that accompany suffering (and additional Bible verses to embrace in moments of pain), pick up a copy of Suffering: Gospel Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense, I pray this book will encourage you while suffering or equip you to be an agent of comfort to those in pain.


  1. Have you ever experienced a moment in life when the pain was too painful? What specifically made your suffering so overwhelming?
  2. If you haven’t experienced something like this yourself, who do you know who is experiencing (or has recently experienced) a moment like this?
  3. What are some other lies that Satan wants you to believe about you, God, and life in a fallen world?
  4. To find additional Bible verses that counter the lies of Satan and can encourage us in moments when life doesn’t make sense, Google Bible verses on spiritual warfare.

First published at PaulTripp.com  Published with permission.

Yellow Bubbles
Dr. Paul Tripp

Dr. Paul Tripp

Dr. Paul David Tripp is a pastor, event speaker, and a best-selling, award-winning author with over 30 books published on Christian living. Paul writes with a driving passion to connect the transforming power of Jesus Christ to everyday life. He and Luella, his wife of 46 years, live in Philadelphia; they have four grown children.

Pain's Greater Purpose

Pain, cultivated by the Spirit’s compassion, invites us to care deeply for one another, grow together, suffering with one another so that none of us is isolated or alone. Pain opens the door to the Spirit’s compassion in us.

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