Posts Tagged ‘suffering’

Why the Suffering?

August 3, 2013

suffering

This is one of the major complaints I have seen written by atheists or those who have left the faithful.

In his books about the scriptures, Bart Erdman mentions this one thing as the primary reason he fell away from religion.

If God truly loved “His people, His children”, why then would He permit such suffering to continue in the world?

Some writers have answered that this is the realm of Satan and God pretty much lets the Devil have free reign down here.

Others say that this is a testing place and those not strong enough are broken. It is for “testing faith” and so forth.

But what if the Almighty doesn’t see it the same way? What we consider bad, He might be using for some specific purpose?

We know trial and error are the best methods to learn anything… “no pain, no gain”… you hear it all the time.

And how in the world could we ever understand compassion if there was no suffering for us to witness?

I’m not saying any of these may be the reason for the suffering as I am certain there are many factors involved. Far too many for someone with my limited view of the universe to begin to understand.

But I am willing to wait for the understanding to come.

I suppose some people are not that patient.

a Gift of Pain

December 23, 2012

When tragedy and heartache strike, it is easy for many people to turn to God for comfort.

And here in the west, our first plea is to have the pain/heartache/suffering removed. It happens so often that it is probably the most common prayer He receives. That and the prayer for something we want from Him, quite like the child that goes away to college and only calls when they need money. I’m sure God is used to His children doing such.

A recent author on books about prayer said that in other areas of the world – peopled by those less fortunate than us – petitioners normally pray for the strength to get through the hard times. Here we merely pray for those times to end.

It is very telling.

So many people seem to blame the dark forces of evil or Satan himself for the troubles that plague them, regardless of the scale of devastation.

What is being forgotten here is that the Almighty Himself is in control of the world. There is no input from Satan’s small corner (even if the fellow actually existed!). So who do you think brings the events that cause such pain? If the Creator of the universe is truly in control, we do not need to look further for someone to “blame”.

Praying to be rid of the pain, the suffering, is to ignore the need for those very things. We are made stronger by the troubles we confront and overcome, signaled by the degree and depth of grace and forgiveness we can give to others even under such duress.

If there was never any hardships for us, we could never have any growth. And calling out our lawmakers to try and remove all possible causes for such pain/heartache/suffering is trying to deny God the chance to work His changes in you.

Rather than try to find the quickest and easiest fix for our suffering, would it not be better to face our demons and grow through our struggle?

Yes, the pain is hard, but by doing the hard work now, the next hardship may not be so hard on us.

That is His gift of pain to us, and why we suffer such.

It is confusing that He should bring the message against so many young innocents but – like many have often said – He works in mysterious ways. But, rest assured, Satan did not bring this to pass (if he exists) without the permission of the One who is really in control.