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Why Does God Allow Suffering?

StoveBolts

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#22
Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.
Suffering is a fear-story about the pain we feel.
Pain in itself is basically bio-chemical reactions/stimuli. It is largely physical and emotional stimulation.
Suffering stems from our thoughts pf fear about the pain. If we don't think about it, we don't worry about it, like when we may graze ourselves while gardening, or bushwalking, and we don't realize it until we see the graze and/or dried blood.
Other forms of suffering, such as grief and loss, is really about losing our own self-esteemed investments in what now is lost. As cold as that may seem, that is what is can be revealed after we accept the loss

In other words, God allows us to suffer, because He knows the truth, and the truth is that we chose to buy into the story of not coping with the pain. After all, we were given free-will to chose truth (God,s will) or untruth (self-will). For us to find the truth we turn to God for the Truth about why we suffer. That truth will set us free.
Not to argue, but suffering is about as optional as giving some sort of a reaction after hitting yourself in the thumb with a hammer and blood is pouring out.

We are sentient beings, and suffering is in our DNA. One can accept a loss, but it takes time, and it's not about will power or self control because underneath each, the suffering inside persists and if your not careful, it will rear itself when you least expect it.

Think about some of the most important lessons you've learned in your life, and suffering isn't to far away in any given direction regardless if it's from you, or somebody else. And I'm sure you know that Jesus suffered.... And we know why because the writer of Hebrews says he was perfected in suffering.

As such, I believe it has a profound way of shaping and moulding us, either in a healthy way, or other.
 

StoveBolts

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#24
When the prodigal son suffered what did he do ?

He came back home to his father.
Yes, because He had a good Father.... we are called to be good Fathers and heaven forbid you are tested and suffer with a profigal son.
Look at the joy the Father had when he saw from a distance his son walking down the road. It's not hard to imagine that he didn't look often....

And what of the oldest child? What did he learn from his brothers suffering?

It's all very dynamic and reaching... impacting many, and all in various ways.
 
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#25
A lot of Christians who backslide return to the faith when things go bad and they feel ashamed for it. They feel like creeps for only falling back into God's arms when it gets rough but backsliding when there are no worries.

But what is a parent for ? When things go wrong parents want to help. That is the time to reconcile and heal.
 
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#26
Not to argue, but suffering is about as optional as giving some sort of a reaction after hitting yourself in the thumb with a hammer and blood is pouring out.

We are sentient beings, and suffering is in our DNA. One can accept a loss, but it takes time, and it's not about will power or self control because underneath each, the suffering inside persists and if your not careful, it will rear itself when you least expect it.

Think about some of the most important lessons you've learned in your life, and suffering isn't to far away in any given direction regardless if it's from you, or somebody else. And I'm sure you know that Jesus suffered.... And we know why because the writer of Hebrews says he was perfected in suffering.

As such, I believe it has a profound way of shaping and moulding us, either in a healthy way, or other.
my underlining.

I almost broke my toe not long ago. The pain shot right up to 9 out of 10. But just as quickly I did not let fear take over and though I felt the pain I did not suffer. As the pain was receding I soon forgot about it all because the pain left quicker than if I was feeding it with fear.

I am getting on in years and been through lots of stuff such as torture, trauma, lose and grief. I am the only one left in the whole family. I've had my suffering and no longer wish to entertain it any more than I have to. All I am saying is that suffering is an option because one can learn to no longer fear it.

Jesus Christ has taught us that though we have a body we are not the body. We are from the Spirit and not from the flesh. I prefer to reference life from the Spirit and not from the flesh. Jesus Christ knew this and that is why he had a lot of trouble having his disciple understand him. Jesus Christ looked at the world from the Spirit (Love and truth) while others looked at the world from fear and denial.

Jesus Christ did not perfect suffering by suffering more than anybody else, but by suffering without fear of dying. Even the centurion at Christ's crucifixion realized this and said: "Surely he was the Son of God!" (Mark 27:54).

Well, that is my conviction about it. I am going by my experiences of pain and suffering, and it has shaped and molded me to accept it and not fear it.
 

StoveBolts

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#27
my underlining.

I almost broke my toe not long ago. The pain shot right up to 9 out of 10. But just as quickly I did not let fear take over and though I felt the pain I did not suffer. As the pain was receding I soon forgot about it all because the pain left quicker than if I was feeding it with fear.

I am getting on in years and been through lots of stuff such as torture, trauma, lose and grief. I am the only one left in the whole family. I've had my suffering and no longer wish to entertain it any more than I have to. All I am saying is that suffering is an option because one can learn to no longer fear it.

Jesus Christ has taught us that though we have a body we are not the body. We are from the Spirit and not from the flesh. I prefer to reference life from the Spirit and not from the flesh. Jesus Christ knew this and that is why he had a lot of trouble having his disciple understand him. Jesus Christ looked at the world from the Spirit (Love and truth) while others looked at the world from fear and denial.

Jesus Christ did not perfect suffering by suffering more than anybody else, but by suffering without fear of dying. Even the centurion at Christ's crucifixion realized this and said: "Surely he was the Son of God!" (Mark 27:54).

Well, that is my conviction about it. I am going by my experiences of pain and suffering, and it has shaped and molded me to accept it and not fear it.
I think you are talking about coping skills, and I see your wisdom.
I agree, fear can actually compound and enhance ones suffering. It can even freeze one in his tracks.
Fear has it's place, just like suffering. Some fear is healthy, while some fear is deabilatating and works against you.

Fear can perk ones senses, but what we do with it can make or break you. As I've been taught, face your fears and overcome them.
Like yourself, I too understand suffering from experience. And I agree, fear if not bridged can be unhealthy, and can lead to wild fantasies. None the less, it should spur us to action, to make good decisions and minimize loss.
It's good to meet you, and I am a work in progress. As for me, the spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak. And so it is that I stumble and scrape my knees on occation.
 

StoveBolts

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#29
Same here brother. I know I will never be perfect so all I can do is focus on the progress.
Perhaps we are perfectly broken.... the question is, do we want to be made well. And if we do, it doesn't always happen over night.

I've been hit by some pretty big blows in recent years, and that light at the end of the tunnel is just another train fooling me to think I'm at the end of the tunnel. At times, I wish I would just fall asleep and be done with it. Life can be a cruel experience... And I think that is where fear can drive you if you let it because some things are just hard to let go of and accept for the way they are. It's one of my biggest life experiences to really understand and try to live out.

Lost dreams, shattered hope... It can wear ya down. Thanks be to God to help us through it. I don't know where I would be, either dead, an alcoholic or a bum if it weren't for God who gives me strength.
 
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#30
Great topic.
Why? Our sin.
We need to own up to the fact that our sinful natures first showed up in The Garden. And we all know how that went.
Taking a look at oneself honestly is not easy. And when we actually own up to it and ask forgiveness we call it repentance. But the sinful nature remains. Our spirits, our minds are changed and God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, the mediator of the New Covenant does not hold us accountable.
Heb 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

I don't blame God for the suffering. Nor do I claim He allows it. It was our decision, the decision of that sinful nature that we no longer walk with God. We allowed the suffering.


Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
Rev 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Praise and Glory to Jesus Christ the lamb of God!!
 
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StoveBolts

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#31
Great topic.
Why? Our sin.
We need to own up to the fact that our sinful natures first showed up in The Garden. And we all know how that went.
Taking a look at oneself honestly is not easy. And when we actually own up to it and ask forgiveness we call it repentance. But the sinful nature remains. Our spirits, our minds are changed and God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, the mediator of the New Covenant does not hold us accountable.
Heb 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

I don't blame God for the suffering. Nor do I claim He allows it. It was our decision, the decision of that sinful nature that we no longer walk with God. We allowed the suffering.


Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
Rev 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Praise and Glory to Jesus Christ the lamb of God!!
Hi friend and brother. Good post, and certainly to the point.

For kicks and grins, have you ever pondered what purpose suffering serves?

As far as our relationship to God, some feel as if their suffering is a punishment, and it becomes to heavy a load to bare, so the end up hating God.

Others are seeking wisdom, and run head first into the fire.

Yet others are drawn deeper into Gods glory through their sufferings.

I'm sure there are more, but you get my gist. As a result, I am left with the idea that its purpose is multi fauceted, which is why I enjoyed reading Hermit 's thoughts on fear.
 
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#32
For kicks and grins, have you ever pondered what purpose suffering serves?
To be honest, no I hadn’t. And yes, I agree Hermit’s post is very good. :nod:thumb
The purpose? I’ll pray God gives me the endurance to find it. Like Hermit I too am getting on in years.
 
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#34
this is an interesting subject. I think...well, we live in a Fallen World, and we're all frail, sin-prone creatures, because of The Fall. So...sometimes, I think suffering is just part of life, here on earth. For those who somehow come to genuine, saving faith in and knowledge of Christ, suffering can, and often does, serve a number of purposes.

Suffering can help build faith. As Apousia pointed out, suffering can soften peoples' hearts and build compassion and Christ-like love. I think this particularly important for Christians, since God clearly has a special love for "the least of these" (the poor, the weak, the widow, the orphan, the pariah, etc.). One sees this in the OT, even in the destruction of Sodom+Gomorrah. Then, in the NT, God becomes flesh...in the person of a humble carpenter from Nazareth...and one sees Jesus sparing the woman caught in adultery, healing lepers, shining light into the dark life of the woman at the well, etc.

On a personal level, I think God has used some things I've gone thru since getting (genuinely, really, truly) saved to further the sanctification process in my life. "In the world, but not of it." I'm certainly -not- gung ho about suffering, but I will say that my (relatively mild, all things considered, and...of course..."Father-filtered") suffering has contributed mightily to genuine, inward transformation ("heart of flesh, not of stone," etc.).

"Life isn't fair sometimes," "that's just the way the world works," "yeah...well...welcome to The Real World." These cliche phrases are about as much meaning as the world can offer to the many who suffer, and pain+suffering are a part of everyone's life, to some extent. Scripture tells us to be "conformed not unto the ways of this world, but be ye transformed, by the renewal of your mind," so...for me at least, suffering has accelerated the process of "putting off the old, putting on the new," as a "New Creation in Christ Jesus."

As I was praying this morning, it dawned on me (at long last...): life here on earth is often difficult, and no one gets out alive. Jesus is the ultimate answer to what mankind truly -needs-, but...here on earth, at least, His work plays out in a fallen, sin scarred-and-marred world, in the lives of wayward, often wicked human beings.

((finished for now...coffee's getting cold...))
 

Mike

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#35
I don't blame God for the suffering.
Certainly.
Nor do I claim He allows it.
This caught my eye. I'm surprised to see you say this. I know you don't believe in a distant God. I think about Job as an extreme example of allowing suffering, but more importantly His message to him later in the book when He's heard enough, starting with Job 38:1-3. I love His whole rant.

Matthew 10:29-31 seems to state that He allows pain & suffering. I agree with everything in your post, but this line had me puzzled. Hope you are well. :)
 
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#37
I don't blame God for the suffering. Nor do I claim He allows it.
This caught my eye. I'm surprised to see you say this. I know you don't believe in a distant God. I think about Job as an extreme example of allowing suffering, but more importantly His message to him later in the book when He's heard enough, starting with Job 38:1-3. I love His whole rant.

Matthew 10:29-31 seems to state that He allows pain & suffering. I agree with everything in your post, but this line had me puzzled. Hope you are well. :)
Yes, of course. I didn't proofread that all that well. Meant "uses". I've heard some preach God uses suffering. Like if one does something bad God will punish you with misfortune. God will have His revenge on the wicked yes but if you sin you'll be punished in this world somehow. I have a hard time with the way that's been preached.

Anyway, something else to ponder as to "purpose" is what of the suffering in the animal kingdom? Man doesn't have the market cornered on suffering in this world. Seems "purpose" is being allocated to the personal being when talking about purpose, purpose of suffering for the self.

"Purpose" I'm still trying to figure out but suffering I see everywhere, not just among humans.
 

StoveBolts

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#38
Well, speaking of suffering, I thought of Job again last week. I've been suffering depression and anxiety lately.... again.... and I ended up with viral mininegits that dirt took me to my Dr then to the ER. I can't describe the pain.... let alone the debilitating migraine only morphine and Valium will relieve.
Prior to the migraine, I would often wish when I closed my eyes, I wouldn't wake up. With the migraine. I realized dying was painful.... It hurts to die. As a result, I no longer wish to die.... and Ironically, in my pain, I refused to curse God, and I found myself praising him in spirit. It was all very odd indeed.
I don't have the anxiety not depression any longer and I have zero desire for alcohol....
God is good.
 

StoveBolts

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#40
I was sober for over 20 years and started drinking off an on lightly a little over 2 years ago. Don't get me wrong, I rarely got drunk and for the most part never exceeded a beer or small glass of wine.
I must say though, it feels good to not want anything.