Labor Pains and Freedom from Pain

We all deal with pain. From the start of our lives, when our mothers writhed in pain to give us birth, until the end of our lives, when we are gasping painfully for that last, elusive breath. Life is painful.

I’m currently rejoicing with my wife as we anxiously await the birth of our firstborn. He was due on Monday (11/8)—but he’s still showing no signs of wanting to enter the wider, brighter world.

This has caused many verses of Scripture to rattle around in my mind. First Thessalonians 5:3 is primary amongst these.

When they say, “Peace and security,” then sudden destruction comes on them, like labor pains come on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape

He can come at any time.

And from that simple sentence, you don’t know who the subject of the pronoun is. Am i talking about our son, or am i talking about Jesus?


This is the point of the passage in 1 Thessalonians 5. And i’ll be honest—the impact of it didn’t hit me until the past few days.

As i look forward with expectation to the birth of my son, even more so should i be looking forward to the return of my King.

But a word of caution first: Maybe you’re reading this and you don’t know my Jesus. You should know that you stand on perilous ground. He could return at any moment—it would be game over for you.

I don’t want this for you. I want you to know Him. I want you to know peace. I want you to know healing. I want you to know comfort. This is only possible by knowing Jesus. He can be your Jesus too.

But when i say He is my Jesus, i say that cautiously and confidently. Jesus is God. As Anselm of Canterbury put it, He is that, than which nothing greater can be conceived.” Think of the greatest thing—in any category—that you can imagine. Jesus is greater. He could squash me like a bug if He wanted to—and He knows i deserve it. But because of His sacrifice on the cross—and subsequent resurrection—i am free. He gave His life for me. I can claim Him as my covering, my shield, my safe-place (cf. Psalms 2-4).

He stands against you as your Judge if you refuse to trust Him by faith. If you don’t place your faith in Him, there’s no reason to even keep reading, because the rest of this post is untrue for you. I can’t promise you freedom from pain if you don’t place your faith in Him.

But this leads us to John 16:21.

When a woman is in labor she has pain because her time has come. But when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the suffering because of the joy that a person has been born into the world.

When Jesus returns, it will be painful for those who foolishly, pridefully, stubbornly decided not to trust Him. But for those who have trusted Him, the pain will be at an end.

We all deal with pain. And it’s a result of Adam’s fall (Genesis 3). God promised that childbirth would be painful (3:16) and so would daily labor (3:17). But the previous verse explained the solution to our pain. Genesis 3:15 says:

I will put hostility between you and the woman,
and between your seed and her seed.
He will strike your head,
and you will strike his heel.

This refers to Jesus defeating the serpent, the one who tempted us into sin, and thus (in a sense) the one responsible for our pain. Our pain will be at an end when Jesus returns. And since we don’t know when Jesus will return, the metaphor of labor pains is fitting.

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

Romans 16:20

He who testifies about these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.”
Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.

Revelation 22:20-21

Are you ready for his return, like my wife and i are prepared for our son’s arrival?

I pray you are.

In this with you.

Soli Deo Gloria
Solus Christus
Sola Fide

Thanks for reading.

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