The theme of suffering will be talked about throughout this essay. Even though it isn’t the most pleasant topic to talk about, it is part of our lives. The dictionary defines suffering as “The state of undergoing pain, distress, or hardship.” This essay will examine suffering and how it shows up in different printed sources, as well as in my personal life.
I believe suffering results from our separation from God. He is holy, all-powerful, all-loving, all that is good. Each day I find myself doing things that move me away from Him. Every time I sin, the world becomes a little bit worse. I can do no good thing apart from God. The more I separate myself from Him, the more likely I am to cause someone else harm or pain.
The most significant period of suffering I have gone through was when I lost my grandfather. I remember we had celebrated his 50th birthday never did imagine it would be the last. That horrible news impacts my life forever realizing that we don’t count for a tomorrow. His death was suddenly due to an embolism. His death caused me a lot of suffering because he was not sick and we had made a lot of plans. I did not know how to deal with his death because I was heartbroken. I wonder and questioned if maybe only God had given us a warning. I did not know how to manage my grief and mourned for him because I was angry with God. It took me time to understand that it was God’s will and that his soul had returned to God. I learned that his death of the body was not the end of his life (Rubin & Yasien-Esmael, 2004). I found comfort in the midst of suffering by finding acceptance in God. Also, I found praying for him and sharing my suffering with others helped me console my pain. I learn that “the lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit,” which help my relationship with God grow as my pain slowly vanished.
Our experiences of suffering may also help us in our moral conduct as an experience of suffering serves to make us sympathetic to the trials of others. We learn to a) help the afflicted (through consolation and relief) and to B) not inflict harm on others, having experienced suffering ourselves. Furthermore, many spiritual seekers in the past have felt that suffering and spiritual progress are inexorably linked, pointing to St Teresa of Avila and St Francis of AssisiI as examples . I believe that if we can learn from our
We all have been in a bad situation yet very few of us would go as far as to label themselves as suffering. To suffer is to experience or be subjected to something bad or unpleasant. In the cases of Mary Rowlandson and Olaudah Equiano they both had to endure watching those near them grasped by the cold hands of death. Unlike Equiano, Mary was subjected to a form of suffering that created conflicts within herself concerning her predicament and her god. Equiano on the other hand was placed in isolation with those around him choosing to commit suicide,thus leading him to the edge of depression.
Romans 5:3-4 points out how suffering only grows us closer to Christ through a transformation of character and realization of the fact that our hope is in him no matter the circumstance.
There are many differing ways that people suffer. Some effects can be superior and some can be inferior. In the quote by H. Richard Niebuhr, suffering can make you stronger, have more character, along with respect.
Why humans suffer and where God is during it are theological questions that have constantly been debated on. Rabbi Kushner in the PBS video Suffering: A Time to Love and a Time to Hate, John F. Haught in his book Responses to 101 Questions on God and Evolution, and the Bible each provide their own analysis on where God is when humans are suffering and persecuted. Thomas West is his chapter “The Human Response of Hope” gives his insight regarding life after death especially hope for salvation. All these sources aid in answering personal questions regarding theodicy: suffering, death, and hope.
Everyone goes through suffering at some point in their lives, but many of them never really understand why a good, loving God allows them to go through this pain. Sometimes, it is even hard for them to trust God in their lives when they are going through suffering. They start to question God because if He is such a good and loving God, why would He not just take away their suffering. What most of them don't realize, though, is that God never actually wanted people to go through suffering. It was actually the fault of mankind that there is suffering because they sinned and turned away from God. Although it is not God who causes suffering, He still uses it for good. Many times, God uses it to draw people closer to Him because if they are going through pain, they are very likely to turn to Him. He also teaches lessons to those who suffer and shows who He wants them to be. God is at work in many lives transforming suffering into something great even if it does not seem good at the time. Although humans view suffering as horrible, God has a plan for the future.
According to Romans 8:28, there is always a great purpose that will come out of suffering if God is in the equation. Through out Scripture we see the hope of God’s sovereign
The concept of suffering plays an important role in Christianity, regarding such matters as moral conduct, spiritual advancement and ultimate destiny. Indeed an emphasis on suffering pervades the Gospel of Mark where, it can be argued, we are shown how to “journey through suffering” (Ditzel 2001) in the image of the “Suffering Son of Man” (Mark 8:32), Jesus Christ. Although theologians have suggested that Mark was written to strengthen the resolve of the early Christian community (Halpern 2002, Mayerfeld 2005), the underlying moral is not lost on a modern reader grappling with multifarious challenges regarding faith in the face of suffering. In his article “A Christian Response to
God created the world, a place free from suffering and pain where humankind could live in peace and harmony,however when man chose the way of Satan by eating the forbidden fruit, this was the beginning of sin in the world. God makes it clear to Adam and Eve the consequences of sinning, and from this moment on suffering was declared. Since dying on the cross, through the letter of St Paul to the Colossians, Christ expects us to bind our sufferings with his. As a result of sin, God allows us to suffer because he loves us and wants us to have free will and the choice whether to love/not love. With this freedom, mankind has broken laws which result in pain and suffering which act as an early warning system when we exercise wrong decisions. Catholics believe that suffering is a test of faith and this is exampled in the book of Job where God lets good people suffer: Job loosing everything he owned, the death of his childer etc. Job examples the reaction to our own suffering. Instead of asking why, the Church teaches us to endure through our suffering and remember that God loves us and no matter the situation will lead us back home. In Pope John Paul’s apostolic
Its impossible to reflect on the origins of evil without bringing up the concept of free will. God created man with this idea of choice; the choice to believe and obey, or the choice to disobey. It was this free will that allowed Adam and Eve to fall from their initial glory and introduce evil and suffering into the world. We can justify a large amount of sustained suffering by acknowledging that it actually benefits us and is not incompatible with God's loving nature. We learn lessons both physically and spiritually that allows us to grow and mature according to God. Some suffering is used to spark revival or for a great advancement in his kingdom, cause after all we're
We see this in The Book of Job too. To Job, suffering happens as a result of God testing us. A Satan questioned the followings of God's people. This led to God testing his best subject, Job. God made Job suffer in the worst way any human being could. This would be physical suffering and mental suffering. When God took away Job's family and possessions, he suffered mentally. All of his possessions and loved ones were gone without a reason known to him. It was physical suffering when he was struck with sores about his body. This also gives reason to suffering that happens when you can't explain it. Even a person who thinks that they are perfect can suffer. You could be just like Job, almost a perfect worshiper. That would be even more the reason for you to be tested. The Book of Job is one of the teachings of the Bible, a spiritual and religious guide. A person reading this would believe that suffering is a test. It is a test of your faith, your faith in God. Therefore, if we were suffering, as long as we keep faith, the suffering will end. As long as we keep faith the suffering will stop, and better things will happen and develop.