Introducing our new "Fearless" study series.

DIY: How Do I Respond to Pain?

DIY studies are interactive Bible studies designed to help you build an engaging relationship with God. These studies will teach you to use various tools like podcasts and videos to engage with the Bible in a way that best fits your learning style. These studies were originally created for teens, but can be helpful for anyone. Click here for a printable version of this study.

This study is meant to help us know how to handle pain. Whether it’s failing a test, rejection from a crush, or losing a loved one, we all have experienced pain to a certain degree at some point in our lives. This study will look at four different ways we can respond to pain, and how God can help us when we’re going through these painful experiences.

DIY Listen

Listen to the song “Can’t Fall Down” by Natasha Bedingfield. Pay attention to the lyrics and think about how you relate to them.

There is no manual for a broken heart
I want to use it but it’s all in parts
The more you fall in, The harder to see
That this time it’s different, though I want to believe
And I don’t know if I have it in me
To love again in the face of defeat
How can I hold it together
When nothing I try makes it better?
I just wanna lay here forever
Cause if I don’t get up, then I can’t fall down.

Think About It

  • When we go through pain, it is easy to want to just give up. If we don’t keep trying, then we don’t have to keep getting hurt over and over again. It feels easier and more comfortable to just never put ourselves out there again or try something new.
  • But, like the rest of the song addresses, this is no way to live. God wants to give us the hope and perseverance it takes to keep getting up even when we’ve been knocked down countless times.
  • How have you felt defeated and broken-hearted? How do you respond to pain when it comes your way?

1. Ignore It

Read

So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. [18] They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. [19] Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
Ephesians 4:17-19 NIV

Think About It

  • When we refuse to deal with the pain that affects us, we end up hardening our hearts.
  • What does it mean to harden our hearts? Have you ever had your hand or foot fall asleep so much that it goes numb? That’s what happens to our hearts.
  • This scripture says that when we harden our hearts and lose sensitivity, we will give ourselves over to sensuality. Sensuality means living our lives pursuing physical pleasure.
  • However, though it’s true we don’t feel pain when we harden our hearts, we don’t feel anything else either. We can’t feel happy, excited, or anything positive because we’ve chosen to ignore and numb ourselves to all feeling.

Key Questions

  • What are ways that you harden your heart?
  • What is the pain that you are trying to numb to?
  • How has this affected how you feel about other relationships or good things in your life?

2. Cover It Up

Read

Laughter can conceal a heavy heart, but when the laughter ends, the grief remains.
Proverbs 14:13 NLT

DIY Watch This: “Not Crying”

Even though this song is meant to be a parody, it actually is a great example of how hard we can try to cover up what we feel. Have you ever tried to talk to someone who is clearly having a hard time, but keeps pretending like everything is fine, changing the subject or even making jokes to cover up what they are truly feeling? Have you ever been this person?

3. Blame Others

Read

Angry people without God pile grievance upon grievance, always blaming others for their troubles.
Job 36:13 MSG

Think About It

“Bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”
Anonymous

  • This quote gives us a good image of what really happens when we react to pain with bitterness and blaming. We end up being the ones who suffer the most.
  • Sometimes, other people do things to us that are hurtful. We can’t control what other people do, but we can choose how we will respond.

Key Questions

  • How have you tried to blame others for what you are going through?
  • How has this affected your heart?

4. Pain with Purpose

Read

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Father who is full of mercy, the God of all comfort. [4] He comforts us every time we have trouble so that when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ERV

Read

In the same way, I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born.”
Isaiah 66:9a ERV

Think About It

  • When we turn to God in the midst of pain, he can give us the comfort we actually need. He is not there to reprimand us to tell us what we did wrong. Instead, he wants to give us purpose through the pain! There are people in our lives who need us, people that we can comfort and help when we get the comfort we need from God.

Write About It

  • Which way do you respond to pain? Do you ignore, cover it up, blame, or turn to God and find purpose through it? You can write a poem, song, spoken word, or even just use bullet points. Use this emotions chart to help you when you feel stuck.
  • If writing is difficult for you, you can draw out what you feel instead.

Review or Reflect

  • What are the things that make you feel most comforted? How can you get that from God? You can write a poem, song, spoken word, or even just use bullet points. Use this emotions chart to help you when you feel stuck.
  • If writing is difficult for you, you can draw out what you feel instead.

DIY How to Start Praying

T.R.U.E. Prayer is an acronym that can help you start learning to pray.

T = Thanksgiving
R = Requests/Needs
U = Uncovering Sin
E = Emotions

DIY For Further Study

Bible Study:

Do:

  • Pray about the pain you are going through, and how you have been responding to it.
  • Find Scriptures about pain and how God comforts you and gives you purpose through the pain.
  • Talk to a friend or family member about the pain you have been feeling and how you have been responding to it.
  • Pray about some people in your life who are going through a hard time themselves, and reach out to them as a friend.
    • Do something to show you care for them – some ideas: pray for them, share Scriptures with them, call them to hear how they are doing, or give them a card to comfort them.
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