Article

Escaping the Prison-house of Pain

Michael Beck Michael Beck

“Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name” (Psalm 142:7)

Pain thrusts us into a prison-house where we see nothing but the four walls of our hurt. This is the worst part of pain. It can become all-consuming. It can turn into an obsession. We would like to “move on,” but for some reason, we can’t.

When a situation that has caused us pain has not been properly resolved, we are in danger of developing an “open sore” that refuses healing. We cry out for justice. We want some recognition of the wrong done to us. But where that is not happening, we can get “stuck.” In our mind, we revisit the “scene of the crime.” We wish for the comfort of closure, but find none.

One of the greatest miracles is when we receive consolation from the God of all comfort for a tribulation that remains unresolved.

One of the greatest miracles is when we receive consolation from the God of all comfort for a tribulation that remains unresolved. To be able to let go of a situation and commit it into the hands of the just judge is “giving place to wrath” and letting God recompense. (Rom. 12:9) He will one day resolve all. No one ever “gets away with” anything. Every one of us will one day have to answer to Him for the deeds done in our bodies. But if He should mark iniquities, who among us would stand? (Psa. 130:3)

What does the Lord want us to do in a world of pain and injustice? He would have us walk as He walked. He would have us pray as He prayed. When He was receiving the greatest, most undeserved pain, He prayed, “Father, forgive them.” When Stephen was being stoned he cried out, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.” (Acts 7:60) The one who was forgiven, prayed the same prayer at the end of his life: “I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.” (2 Tim. 4:16)

In all the above situations there was no admission of wrongdoing received. There was no repentance, no reconciliation, no resolution, no restoration. But there was peace and love in the heart of the wounded one. There was release from the prison-house of pain.

Love wants God to be just as merciful toward others as He has been toward us.

Love “thinks no evil.” (1 Cor. 13:5) This means that love does not count people’s sins against them. It is not a recorder of wrongs. It does not desire retaliation. It wants God to be just as merciful toward others as He has been toward us. And it does not require that one should see the slightest change in one’s lifetime.

Oh the miracle of a comforted heart! Jesus died while being tortured by those who hated Him without a cause. But He will yet see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied. Commit all into the hands of your God. He knows how to humble the proud. He knows how to open the eyes of the blind. His goodness leads men to repentance – whether we see it with our eyes or not.


Michael Beck is a pastor in New York City and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.