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When the Pain Seems Unbearable

To say that pain is a challenge is a gross understatement for some. Whether it’s emotional, physical or relational pain, when you’re hurting—and the aching is deep—it’s awful.


Over the past week, I’ve dealt with a tooth that’s killing me. A couple I love is going through a divorce. I spoke with a man who recently lost his wife to cancer. I got an email from a college guy who once went to Eastpoint and was passionate about Jesus, but now he’s walking away from Him. And just to add to the fun, my 23-year-old Buick is on its death bed.


It’s been one of those weeks.



My body hurts. My heart hurts. And at times the pain seems unbearable.


Maybe your week has been worse than mine. Perhaps you’re dealing with a lot more than a bad tooth because your body is wracked right now with cancer. Maybe you’re in the midst of a personal relationship struggle that is shredding your soul. You might be the mother or father of a child who has wandered from faith.


Your body hurts. Your heart hurts. And at times the pain seems unbearable.


I’m so sorry,  and the last thing I want to do is slap a happy Jesus sticker on your agony. But may I give you something to consider?


Whatever you’re facing right now as a parent, partner, pastor or person isn’t the end of your story.



Seriously, it’s not. Not if you’re a Christ-follower.


Whatever physical struggle you face, your earth-suit (i.e., body) will get an upgrade someday.


Whatever emotional strain you’re under right now, someday every broken heart will be healed.


Whatever relational battle you’re striving against as a spouse, parent, or leader, someday peace will rule in your mind forever.


Regrettably, we humans tend to be too limited in our perspective. We (and yes, I am included) get so overwhelmed by the pain we’re in that we forget that all pain is temporary. All.



We also lose sight of this fact: Pain can be a teacher. If we decide to grow through it and not just go through it, pain can mold us into better people rather than bitter people.


Without question, if I were given a choice, I would choose a pain-free life, but it’s through struggle and suffering that my character is best molded into the image of Jesus.


Man, I wish that weren’t true, but it is.


When the pain seems unbearable, and you want to quit, remember that no pain is permanent, and all pain can have a purpose.


So hold on.


Whatever you’re facing right now is never the end of your story in Christ.



The struggles, hardships, and sufferings

overwhelming us now are nothing compared

to the beauty and wonder that are coming because of Jesus!

Romans 8:18 (Bubna Paraphrase)









Kurt Bubna

Kurt W. Bubna has published seven books, is an internationally recognized blogger, conference and retreat speaker, as well as an experienced life and leadership coach. Bubna has over forty years of experience working with individuals, teams, and a wide variety of business and non-profit organizations.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Chris Vickers

    Thank you, Kurt. This is JUST what I needed to be reminded of today with some struggles our family is facing. Your timing is perfect!

    1. KurtBubna

      Praying for you guys. Love you all…

  2. Anonymous

    Good word. I am struggling.

    1. KurtBubna

      I am praying for you!

  3. Anonymous

    This confirms to me that God has my back. He is my soul provider. How do we distinguish in a painful time that it is God doing his work? I am in a painful marriage and have been for near 3 years. But it has gotten worse this last year. I am struggling with is this of God or the enemy? I know God does not want abuse for his children and for me as his daughter. I endure this on a daily basis. How much more do I take is a question I ask myself. This question brings me back to the thorns on Jesus’s head, the whipped slashes on his back, the blood that he shed… and I think my pain is so far less than what he endured. How much should I take? Am I the one holding me hostage? Or is God keeping me at this place for His work in me?

    1. KurtBubna

      I think God is always at work IF we are always pliable and asking Him to mold and shape us. No matter what we face, we can grow. Ask the Lord to show you what He wants to do in your and through you. Know I am praying for you.
      You are loved,

    2. Anonymous

      Dear anonymous, abuse is never ok. Please, first of all reach out to a counsellor or Christian mentor who can give you solid advice on what is happening and if you need to take a step to set up a boundary to protect yourself and your kids. I have had to learn to do just this with my spouse. He was not abusive but he became an alcoholic and life got very painful. I reached out to different mentors for help. They prayed with me, and gave me the strength I needed to set up boundaries to protect myself, with some distance until my husband was able to get help. It was painful, we both are still recovering from that season.
      2nd, The book boundaries also helped me immensely (eastpoint is offering this as a class right now).
      3rd, I know how hard it is to talk about a spouse’s issues, while still living them and wanting a future together. You’re very brave. A counsellor told me once “God is never ok with child abuse, and you are his child”. ♥️ You are loved, you are worth fighting for, you are a child of God.

  4. Rebecca Gump

    Dear friend,
    This brought me to tears, which is a good thing! To empathize with you and pray for you because I care about you and because of Jesus I care about the un-named people in your blog. I’m praying for them. I am not in pain at the moment. But I remember the unbearable pain. Thank you for writing this. We don’t remember it’s temporary and we need that reminder.

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