There are many different perspectives on suffering with regard to its meaning, significance and purposes. Pope John Paul II (1984) wrote "On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering", that it centres on the notion of redemptive suffering - to remit one’s sins in order to save the soul from eternal suffering (damnation). Personally, I believe suffering can have a purpose. It can enrich life by giving us knowledge of both the good and the bad, arguably making us more appreciative of what we have . Indeed, James Stewart (2005) purports, "If there were no suffering, would there be compassion? If there were no discipline and hardship, would we ever learn patience and endurance? Construct a universe with no trouble in it and immediately you banish some of the finest qualities in the world."
What comes to mind when the word 'suffering' is mentioned? It usually brings up images of pain, hardship, and unpleasantness. However, C. S. Lewis brings new meaning to suffering in The Screwtape Letters. In one of the letters, Screwtape writes to Wormwood about the paradoxial use that God makes of our suffering. By the end of Chapter 8, the reader is left to see that suffering itself can be more powerful than times of ease and happiness in drawing someone closer to God.
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.
In the Gospel of Mark and in the short story ¨Sonny's Blues¨ by James Baldwin there is a theme of the redemptive role of suffering. In these texts suffering is shown to allow the sufferer to be understood, while questioning if the suffering is worth being understood. In “Sonny’s
Why Does God allow suffering? This question is probably as old as religion itself. It is a stumbling block for some of us, and for many more at given moments of tragedy. There are as many answers to this question as there are people who care to engage in theological
The purpose of this research paper is to compare the public view of suffering in the Old Testament with the public view of suffering in the modern world. In order to properly achieve this comparison, I will explain the relationship between God and His believers in the Old Testament. More
After about a month since my uncle's funeral I saw my father, (my uncles brother), reading an article about a woman named Thea Bowman. Casually I asked who she was, and my father exclaimed to me what an incredible person she was and how she has helped him with his brothers death. I took iPad on which he was reading the article and read about this incredible woman. I learned about he battle with terminal cancer and how she dealt with her suffering. One of her quotes stuck out to me, it was, "I know suffering gives us a new perspective and helps us clarify our real value." Sister Thea believed that the significance of suffering isn't why it happens to us, but how it can help us transform into a more loving person, and how it can be our source of redemption. This inspired me to see historical figures dealing with their suffering, I found a perfect candidate, Jesus. Jesus dealt with suffering by forgiving the sins of people and calling them to conversion. I learned that Jesus also told his disciples to shoulder the cross of loving service, suffering for justice, compassion, and love. Now that I learned about how others have dealt with their suffering properly, it was my time to deal with my own suffering, and maybe even transform
Suffering is a hardship that all humans experience in life and an experience people often ponder on why such a thing exists. This is an ultimate question that has been answered by many of the world religions. We will be comparing the concepts of suffering in both Christianity and Buddhism to see how these views differ to one another.
Fr. Joseph Byerley used scripture, St. Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic letter on the meaning of human suffering and practical examples to answer the age old question of why God allows good people to suffer. I will attempt to give a summary of his talk here, but will preface that this
THE SUFFERING SERVANT OF ISAIAH 52 AND 53 The book of Isaiah provides a message to the nation of Israel and is one of the most powerful books of prophecy in the Bible. The prophet spoke of events to come that many have attempted to discern. Scholars, Rabbis and Christian Clergy differ in their interpretations of these passages in Isaiah 52 and 53.
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.
The concept of faith and suffering in the Hebrew Bible has filled worshippers with fraught throughout the ages of its existence. The crux of the matter is that there is no definition of what exactly these things are and what they mean, leading to many different theories to emerge on the concept of whether suffering is necessary for faith in God. This has historically caused strife between many populations of worshippers, and continues to be a point of bitter disagreement between people. Wildly contradicting itself between various books, the Hebrew Bible is at best ambiguous in many of these concepts, but when analyzing small passages, certain themes can be argued for with much more strength. In the Book of Job, loyalty to God is questioned, and ultimately the theme of free will in faith is addressed through the pain and suffering of its characters.
In line 109 it states "we must learn from suffering" which basically means that all the actions we decide to do have a lesson to be taught for example Agamemnon learned what suffering truly meant after killing his daughter. He suffered mentally and physically when Clytemnestra killed him.