Just the word brings up images of death, despair and agony. Skip to main content. Before we touch upon suffering, we need to talk about polarity. Regardless of your faith or level of optimism there are tragedies, setbacks and challenges which happen in life that can stun even the strongest of us. The best thing I can offer as advice to those suffering the loss of a loved one is…embrace it. It will make you suffer more than you ever thought possible. God’s Storehouse exists to see people from all walks of life know God, find community, make disciples and change the world! Accepting that everything that exists is only temporary allows you to release your attachment to things, people and even to your definition of yourself. Suffering is no joke – nor should you “want” it – but it can end up becoming your window onto a brighter world. Before we can truly find love and intimacy with others we must find it within ourselves, and before we can hope for compassion and reciprocity to flow toward us we must become the engine of it ourselves. We empathize more and we want to help, even if it is just to be there for them. Rather than this article being an indicate of “what is wrong with each generation”, surely it would be better to see that it’s commendable to adopt such a perspective and start a conversation about it? Theodicy: The Great Problem But when most people wonder about pain and suffering, they want to know the cause. In a polytheistic worldview, as noted above, pain and suffering are simply factors caused by malevolent gods. But we do know that God loves each person who is suffering, and that He does have each person’s eternal best interests in mind. Do you ever feel like life is not how it's supposed to be, others are not how they're supposed to be or that you yourself are not how you're supposed to be? Each time you play the victim or you blame someone or something else you abdicate your power to live your best life to the whim of circumstances. Here are five important biblical truths about suffering every Christian should have ready: 1. You’re experiencing suffering and pain. They often want to be more important than others. By paying attention to your life right now you can notice the beauty that is there and experience gratitude for your life. Repressing or justifying that won’t change that fact. Life is dynamic and ever-changing and unpredictable. That will only succeed if you start exactly where you are. But if you’re overly open to love you may get burned and have your heart broken. Many even cling to false ideas about the meaning of karma in order to reassure themselves that suffering is happening for a good or “justified” reason. Although we endure suffering, do we constantly suffer? To follow one’s highest joy and run away from those things that cause you pain. By going inwards into our own Hearts and understanding experience in an objective way, rather than getting caught up in the emotion of it all, we can transcend suffering. At the 5 year mark I imploded- after 24 years of sobriety from alcohol, I drank. But God replied, “You can do anything to him, except you can’t kill him, and then we’ll see” (Cf. When you choose things that compromise your health, wellbeing and spiritual growth you deny the very things that you need to be happy and healthy. Carl Jung claimed that “wholeness for humans depends on the ability to own their own shadow” because he recognized that only by finding understanding of our dark side could we end our underlying insecurity about our fundamental goodness and worth as humans and, in doing so, make us ‘whole’. You can choose fear or love. No, suffering is NOT a growth hormone. Posted on April 2, 2020 April 6, 2020 by Tyron Trantraal. The Gift of Light and Darkness. Who would want any of that negative stuff? When you experience this deeper connection to all of life you will feel the sacredness of all things and beings and you will never feel loneliness. • Why Doesn't God Stop Disasters? There is pain in truth. You can actually use suffering and the pain you have been through to hone your willpower. (Why is there suffering?) In the pain of suffering some individuals are able to find a cleansing fire. The fact is that suffering is an inevitable part of life, from aging and death to heartbreak and disappointment. There is no way to achieve fulfillment and potential when you live out of fear. Let the fear and despair take you into your core and find the healing power of your breath and the life within you. “Dance with whatever comes towards you.” #aliciaisms. The fact that you can grow from suffering is astounding. And neither does it mean that Scripture doesn’t tell us how to think about our suffering now. Competitiveness, jealousy and envy form a chain that drags suffering behind them. So, throw out "suffering," "stress," "dissatisfaction," or whatever other English word is standing in for it, and go back to "dukkha." Sadly, life had other plans and in the summer of 1971 at only 46-years-old he was killed along with his wife Marie in a car accident. The answer is a Person, Jesus Christ, and His cross and resurrection. That is my point. There are experiences that can haunt you for the rest of your life, from being a refugee in war to watching a loved one die. Our mind tries to make sense of awful things that happen by either blaming ourselves and thinking we deserve it or by believing we have been singled out by some cruel force that picks on us for no reason. Where suffering becomes even harder, however, is in our minds and in the stories we make about it. What is a divided life? We believe that if our circumstances would change, we'd be able to act right. The fact is that suffering is an inevitable part of life, from aging and death to heartbreak and disappointment. As you say, no! You are constantly hiding. Our answer is very concrete. The hero instinct: What it taught a 39 y/o single man. If a person is not conscious, they are not suffering (thank Heaven for anaesthesia! SWITCH TO ANCHOR; BLOG; Sign up Log in. This video was done for a radio show I was to host and is all about why we go through pain and suffering in this the game of life we are playing and how to use it in a beneficial way! Running away from that or pretending it’s “not so bad” won’t help you or anyone else. Though much of Buddhism doesn’t claim an afterlife, the typical translation of the First Noble Truth denotes that even in pleasure there is suffering, because we … And because of sin, humans cause other humans to suffer. We all face suffering in some way, shape or form. @paulpellico I’m really sorry to hear that your lost your son. Let it build your resilience and fortitude in the face of suffering. often respond to death and suffering by banalizing and trivializing them, digging down to the roots of how you approach money and your relationship with yourself and your power, The post-pandemic world will be shaped by how we react to fear, heroically fought against the Nazis in the French Resistance, Feeling lost in lockdown? Whatever the reasons behind pain and suffering, we all experience it because of sin having entered the world. Don’t run. You will suffer when you seek the illusion of safety and security because what you are seeking out there can only be found within. Why is there good and evil? It has gotten and will get a hellava lot worse! Along the path of life people respond in many ways to the unknown and their own inner life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. The only freedom you have now is to grow from the pain. Parker Palmer says that a divided life is “a life in which our words and actions conceal or even contradict truths we hold dear inwardly”. “When you live from love everything becomes possible”. Physical suffering is pain, aging, deterioration and injury. You only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low. That’s a mental process not necessarily a reality. Fear produces thoughts that cause a contraction in our hearts, minds and bodies. The pain was understandably immense. Suffering is the actual experience, the sensations and feelings. You might enjoy your memories more if you aren’t attached to having it be the same now as it was then. The question of why there is suffering in death for some and not as much for others is really not answerable. Clear the mechanism by meditation. “Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. We reap what we sow (Gal. Why is there light and darkness? Your energy goes into an inauthentic life that causes you stress and possibly illness. Let the pain reshape your world and hone your determination and grit. But through it all there is a shred of faith, strength and hope that will always be there deep inside. (3) We sometimes suffer because it is God’s discipline. Here’s what I did. Stupid and almost kindergarten level religiously stupid at that. 5. If the Gospel truly is GOOD NEWS, then why do we experience suffering? Here are six reasons why suffering is a normal part of life: Suffering makes us human. Everyone suffers. All life suffers in the literal sense. And we know He has a merciful and loving plan to replace this world of evil and suffering with a world of righteousness and peace. If we embrace our inherent unity our problems will cease.” #aliciaisms. Job was sharing his agony of spirit with the very God he could not understand. You see this in nature most clearly. Suffering is often categorized as physical or mental. I think what you recommend here closely mirrors the suggestions in the article above. When you touch a hot stove your hand will be pulled back before you even consciously realize it. FEATURES. Suffering is multifaceted. 3. Suffering is the basic element that makes up the negative valence of affective phenomena.The opposite of suffering is pleasure or happiness.. Why do people take drugs? Humans have consciousness of death and fear the unknown. Our physiological and instinctive reaction to pain and suffering is to escape it. An individual brings it on himself. You experience yourself as having no power or agency over your life. You must learn to dance with whatever comes towards you. “For those whom the Lord loves he disciplines, and he scourges every son He receives” (Heb. By Blake Croft. Our suffering comes from our denial of our divine nature, our lack of appreciation of our connection to all things, our resistance to impermanence and our addictions and attachments to things that only bring temporary relief. (Why do we suffer?) Trusting yourself and what you stand for, in that moment, is the only way to ground yourself in groundlessness. That’s because we want to either get rid of the suffering or make sense of it and sometimes neither of these options is possible. Only when you choose to live from a place of love can you generate optimism and courage and compassion. It appears there are several reasons why suffering occurs: 1. Freedom comes from being all you can be and courageous enough to live fully. Suffering is the experience of highly aversive sensations. The closest he ever came was when he said, “Show me why You contend with me” (Job 10:2). Many of us think we suffer because of our circumstances. You may call yourself names that diminish you (weak, lazy, not enough, etc) or you may find your self-worth in the identity you choose (CEO, competent, parent, etc) and anything that challenges your sense of worth then becomes a threat or an insult or a conundrum. You can aspire to the future if you accept it as a possibility not a certainty. It can be our chance to notice even the smallest positives that still exist, like the kind person who comes to visit us as we recover from a devastating and nearly fatal addiction, or the old friend who brings over food after a painful loss of our partner. What’s the point of life when it can be so easily taken away? But facing suffering in our conscious mind can be even harder. He goes on to say, “And yet our culture counsels us to do exactly that.” If the way you lead your life is incongruent with what truly matters to you and what you believe in, you will suffer. Ultimately, God ordains and brings affliction into a believer’s life (Ruth 1:20–21). Your desire to have it be different is only useful if you consider it as an aspiration and take action to bring you closer to that aspirational state. If you spend no time in reflection, in the deeper conversation with your Self, you will never find your true purpose or acknowledge the wonderful being you are. But how? And the answer to all of these is found in Scripture. God causes it. Either way you have to take a risk and you simply must accept that suffering is not optional. It’s one of the three basic qualities of existence, also known as the three marks of existence, but suffering itself … The truth is you are neither exceptionally bad and “deserving” of suffering, nor are you the only one who’s being rained down upon with holy vengeance. Click HERE for more inspiration and free useful practices for a healthier and happier life. There can be times when accepting that life sucks right now can actually lead you to stop chasing fairytales and codependent relationships and reclaim your personal power. An act of nature precipitates the damage, injury, or death. This has to be THE most stupid, self deception story I have read since elementary religion class. Because of Him, we can even speak of suffering as a call, a vocation. My daughter was murdered 9 years ago. I also appreciate you took the time to share a personal response here to the article. So don’t shut down the whole production just because you’re getting hurt: either way it’s going to continue and your only real choice is whether to be a proactive partner in life or a reluctant prisoner being dragged behind a horse. How often I hear The Sky Is Falling, the Earth is finished,. I suppose Jeffrey is still growing after his year long losing battle??? Wholeness comes from the acceptance of all parts of ourselves as individuals and as humans so that we can transcend the pettiness of our human condition and elevate our consciousness to levels that can indeed change our world for the better. Suffering is generally something we categorize along with other undesirable and awful things in the corner of our mind. Human error may unintentionally cause suffering. But the fact is that this is never going to work. Figures who many admire from Abraham Lincoln and Sylvia Plath to Pablo Picasso and Mahatma Gandhi struggled enormously. ~ Buddha. GSOB Daily is a podcast of God’s Storehouse of Blessings in Athens, TN. (Origin of evil) (Evil in the world) (Did God create evil?) More people are depending on you than you know, and some of the greatest figures in history who have made the world a better place struggled deeply in ways that most of us couldn’t even imagine. Anytime you want or even demand that your reality be different than what it is you suffer because of the desire that it were different. The same thing goes for the big and small traumas of life. (4) We may suffer persecution because of our faith—especially when we take a stand on biblical issues, i.e., suffering for righteousness sake (2 Tim. All life is connected like a giant network that may appear different but at its core is made of the same elements as the earth, the stars and all living beings. And to suffering. Coming to terms with the difficult emotions you feel means being compassionate with yourself, loving yourself just as you are. We talked about how suffering is a universal truth along with impermanence, along with interdependence. Sleep more. Physical suffering is pain, aging, deterioration and injury. Being overly happy about that or full of toxic positivity is not the answer. Food was brought up to him by a ladder. You don’t accept that everything is temporary. I’m happy to know that you have managed to find a way to find meaning from helping others. That’s where facing and accepting suffering becomes the only option. We are redeemed “with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:19). Grow? We’ve established why pain and suffering exists, but we also know that God has the power to stop pain and suffering. If you’ve struggled with asthma then you know how incredible it can feel to take a deep breath without any trouble. In modern day culture, there is a concept many people share to try and avoid suffering. We may push down our own vulnerability and believe that we have somehow “deserved” our suffering and must suffer through it on our own. My body is in its 7th decade, so there is definitely pain in this body for one reason or another every day. However, everyone’s experience is unique. we shout. If you’ve experienced the worst heartbreak then you know how finding lasting and real love can make you feel. Our technologically-advanced Western societies often respond to death and suffering by banalizing and trivializing them. 6:7-9). I didn’t grow from it, however for 5 years because I kept trying to push the pain away. You’re going to suffer. Job never asked why those things were happening to him. 2. You are more than a title or a word. You resist what is in front of you and suffer. In this episode, I will talk about the 3 types of suffering and specifically the 3rd type: all-pervasive suffering. God is all-powerful. Sometimes the gut punch that lands you in ER at age 16 from a drug overdose can be the experience you look back on 20 years later and see was absolutely necessary for the mission you eventually had to help others through their own struggles. I say eventually because it was a long learning process. Suffering and adversity has existed as long as human beings have. Lincoln and Plath both had severe depression and suicidal thoughts, while Picasso lost his sister Conchita when she was only seven from diptheria, despite promising God he would give up painting if He would spare the sister he loved so much. We push away these painful and difficult experiences because they cause us suffering. For we reckon things from our human experience and do not understand the infinite mind and purpose of God. They fight, they go to war, and they bully others. Having compassion and empathy for others also involves starting by having compassion and empathy for ourselves. Although some people may seek out suffering as part of a spiritual or religious path (which I discuss below), generally it is not a choice. Instead of suffering increasing the desire to no longer exist, spirituality and inner experience can be strengthened and suffering can bring us to a stronger determination and drive to be present and exist. An opposite but equally harmful reaction is to treat suffering as personalized: why does this sh*t always happen to me? It can forge an unbreakable authenticity and desire to give back that nothing can break. The root of suffering is attachment. Finally, I wish to emphasize that as Christians we do not give a merely abstract answer to the difficult question of why God permits suffering. I’ve noticed some common reasons why we suffer. Why Do God’s Children Suffer? Being spoiled living the best possible lives available today can make generations of fools. Life is connected and impermanent because the atoms that compose it are always moving and being rearranged, between living to decomposition (or death) which feeds other life. What I mean is that even a flower growing up through the sidewalk crack has to struggle and feel pain to bloom. Every human being will experience suffering throughout the course of their lives. Oh, hell…this ain’t nuthin, kids! … Now I dedicate my life to helping others. For example if you’ve been let down in love and put your guard up you may miss out on the next chance for a loving partner, leading to years of regret and loneliness. Someone intentionally causes another person to suffer. Suffering is the central problem that Buddhism addresses. Yet suffering can be the doorway to your personal evolution, to growth and expansion, if you choose to shift your thoughts and perceptions. ). Humans don’t like being uncomfortable. There are different levels of faith, and most of the time we want to use our faith to get rid of a problem. We try to escape the trauma by denying it really exists in the first place. The hugest suffering in my life eventually let to the greatest spiritual growth. We’re all going to suffer. When we experience suffering – or even choose it as some monks and others have – we begin to deeply appreciate the immense hardship that many people around us are experiencing. I totally agree with this article. As Job asks, “shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10). Let suffering and the memory of it be the catalyst that allows you to become a more powerful person: powerful at helping yourself, powerful at helping others, powerful in accepting the sometimes harsh nature of reality. The blind French author Jacques Lusseyrand heroically fought against the Nazis in the French Resistance and was imprisoned at Buchenwald camp, but never lost his faith that life was worth living. @Intuitive_karen thanks for sharing your very personal experience. When you know what the cause is, you’ll discover that you can change suffering into awareness and find peace and happiness. 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