On Human Suffering

I share this with all those who are tired of questioning & not getting a simple, straight answer to Life’s pitfalls. Sometimes we question what the purpose of suffering might be. There is no simple answer. Why do we suffer from time to time? Is all this suffering worth the reward? Suffering has a purpose, if we seek up above. And in this day & age where natural disasters, pandemics, violence, social injustice, corruption, death, etc. shake our confidence & well being, it’s necessary to stop; & far from complaining, take a moment & try to see what the purpose of our own suffering is, so we can be able to make constructive input for the collective welfare.

Christian life is not a paved road to riches, constant entertainment, egocentrism, etc. It often means hard work, deprivation, suffering, etc. We should focus our attention on the good that God will produce of the seemingly bad that occurs to us, which BTW it´s WAY better than our chosen pleasures. This is one reason we suffer, so we might have the opportunity to embrace happiness to its fullest potential. This will certainly depend on our attitude towards our own suffering.

A common misconception is that suffering is the result of sin and/or lack of faith. It may be, but it is certainly not always the case. We live in a fallen world where often, good conduct is not always rewarded & bad conduct is often not punished. If God removed our sufferings everytime we’d ask Him, we would most certainly follow Him for our own convenience, not for love. He would become akin to a magic wand or a genie in the sky, if you will (and you know how the story of the genie turned out: “be careful what you ask for, you just might get it”). Whatever the reasons for our sufferings, we can be sure Jesus has the power to overcome them for us. When we suffer, we should ask “What can I learn from all of this?” As opposed to “Why did this happen to me?” Although we are sometimes tempted, it is of not much use to ask the latter.

Our trials are often the result of God’s perfect plan for His children, for when we experience them, we choose to strengthen our character or harden our heart, that depends on our approach to them. Our patience is also being toned up, which helps us deepen our trust in the Lord & as a result we become more sensitive towards others, who face trials of their own. Problems are inevitable yet oftentimes they are a sign of an effective life in Christ.

If we are aware of our limitations, we won’t feel prideful. We will turn to God looking for ways to become more effective, more useful as human beings & as a result much happier. We must not trust our own will, energy, effort or talent (we must embrace it though) because it might fail at some point. And by acknowledging our drawbacks, we assert God’s power, which in time, will allow us to be stronger & happier than we could have ever been, depending only on ourselves.

“I asked God for strength that I might achieve. I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey. I asked for health that I might do greater things. I was given infirmity that I might do better things. I asked for riches that I might be happy. I was given poverty that I might be wise. I asked for power that I might have the praise of men. I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God. I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. I was given life that I might enjoy all things. I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for. Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered. I am, among all men, most richly blessed”- Unknown

“Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility but through greatness of mind” – Aristotle

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world” – C.S. Lewis

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