Building Faith: Finding Peace To the Question of Suffering
One leading question that God-loving people have asked for centuries has to do with the nature of suffering. As the world spits up tragedies and wars and conflicts that cause the endless suffering of innocent people, it is not uncommon to sit and wonder why. When something happens in our lives that devastates or derails us, that nagging question continues to press on. It might not even be that we find ourselves in a tragic situation but that we seem to be unable to connect the joy of the Lord with our everyday actions and the future seems bleak, obscure, and sometimes even frightening.
None of these thoughts or questions are new or particularly groundbreaking. They have been asked for centuries. In fact, as we look back into history and look at atrocities committed and world wars, it is almost impossible not to wonder how a loving God would allow such events to occur in the first place.
The Grace of God — Finding the Redemptive Possibilities of Pain
It is no secret that pain exists in this world in many different forms. Some people suffer unspeakable pain and suffering due to health ailments or mental ailments. A person that takes their own life is under enormous pain that the only way out appears to be the darkness. The answers begin with Jesus Christ. He is the healing word of God. When there is pain, there are often redemptive possibilities on the other side. It is through living in that darkness and trusting God that we can come out the other side triumphant. This does not mean that it will be easy or straightforward. Pain can make us the wiser as we navigate our relationship with God in the darkest moments. Perhaps the pain is leading us someplace, trying to steer us in a new direction. Maybe it has something to say.
As the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote, pain and suffering are a type of gift and perhaps those “nights of suffering, be remembered with love.” He’s talking about the ability to transcend the pain and see how life’s difficulties are simply manifested through our pain and overcoming, reorienting, or reshaping that pain is what makes us grow as people, brothers, and sisters.
The Importance of Relating and Building a Relationship With Jesus
Sin is often at the center of our suffering. The mistakes we make, the missteps, the self-destructive nature of our actions are often what lead us to instability and losing our footing before God. He is with us and accompanies us through our journey; therefore, we must seek his guidance and understand that he does not judge or missteps. Instead, he wants us to put them behind us, to get up and keep going, to see the world anew each day and embrace the beauty and glory of being alive.
Grappling With Free Will — The Question of Choice
And of course, the question of free will lingers. When we are faced with a difficult choice, we turn to God. And yet despite many miraculous stories of apparitions and clear signs, sometimes God is more subtle with his answers. Perhaps it seems as if we are not seeing the signs or that they are not coming clearly enough. God wants us to have peace and live in peace. When faced with a difficult choice, the answer may not be clear cut. It might just be God wants us to trust in him and in ourselves and all we have is the ability to take our choice put it up to the grace of God and move forward. Paralyzing ourselves over finding the ‘right’ answer can often exhaust more than anything else. God will see us through whatever choice we make, we must trust and pray that He guides us. Don’t fret about making the ‘wrong choice.’ Let go and allow the light to get in. Perhaps your pain and suffering are there to show you something. Sometimes, there are simple things we cannot control and allowing us to let go of those is, in many cases, the ability to learn to trust God.
Through baptism, we are made to share the mystery of God and we become one with Christ. It means that Christ is our companion through difficult moments and that we carry him in our hearts wherever we go. For this, we can turn to Matthew (Mt 6:25), “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”
Seek Your Peace With Christ and Visit Us Any Time
If you’re struggling with a major life decision or suffering of your own, we encourage you to visit Faith Miracle Sanctuary Christian Worship Center. We help guide you to the word of God and experience his grace in all of its glory. Sometimes we might just need a hand, a neighbor, or someone to tell us the right passage in order to see the clarity with which he wants us to see.