by Michael Corthell
What we are looking at in this article is theodicy. Theodicy in its most accepted form, is an attempt to answer the question of why a loving God permits the manifestation of evil in the world. The short answer is theological; to teach lessons. The long answer is human. It is philosophical, convoluted and even seemingly incoherent.
''Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.''
The atheist argues that if God exists, then theodicy is just scattered and incoherent and that the amount of suffering seems to be much greater than that is needed to do the job of being the contrast to goodness. And, it should follow that the more suffering there is, the more good there would be in proportion, but this is a normal for a non-believer having no Faith at all in God, and therefore no understanding of Him.
The believer's view was well encapsulated by Ms. Keller. God does indeed use the 'Job-ian' method quite often, in varying degrees, according to the needs of His children. Each one of us has sort of a divine course curriculum designed by our Creator that teaches us the lessons we need to learn to become whole spiritually. (Many believe that is why we're all here — spiritual beings having a human existence.)
Now you know why we suffer. How do we deal with suffering? And I don't mean by taking aspirin or morphine or sipping Jack Daniels either. I mean how do we deal with suffering emotionally and spiritually.
All the arguments for or against the goodness behind suffering revolve around 'meaning'. What is life? Why am I here? Those types of questions. By answering those questions for ourselves we then get to the core of our personal belief. As to the question, ''Why am I here?'' If the answer is; ''God put me here for a reason and a purpose,'' you now have your answer as to why you suffer. If the answer is ''Because life arose in the Universe by a chance chemical reaction,'' you may accept this answer which is very bleak and very dark:
''So, if suffering is needed to experience pleasure, then wouldn't it follow that the more we experience suffering the more we could experience pleasure? Does it follow then that Holocaust survivors are better off having suffered since they can experience more pleasure afterward? And would this mean we should seek to experience more pain? Does that sound rational?? Sadly, there are those who suffer through horrible, short lives and then die without any pleasure at all. What about the need to experience more pleasure in order to experience more suffering, which in turn would allow us to experience more pleasure, and so on? And how does this apply to the sufferings of animals?''
—John W. Loftus, Why I Became an Athiest
The 'thing' missing in the above paragraph is, of course, God. When you add Him to it, all these non-believers questions are fully answered. That is how we are to 'deal' with suffering: Faith and Belief in God.
Finally, our spirits have an eternal connection to God. This means that we have a natural desire to reach out to God during difficult times. (There are no atheists in foxholes!) These sufferings provide the spirit, which is bound to its earthly body(vehicle), a chance to reach out to God and pull that relationship closer and tighter.
When we believers pray for help and guidance, we Faithfully know that help will come, but not always in the way we expect it or when we want and expect it. If our souls/spirits will remain Faithful, even when it appears that God is delaying the asked for help, then our spirit's relationship and union with God is absolutely solid, and eternal—remembering still, that even the best of us are sorely tested and refined.
Then Job answered God: “I know you can do everything. You make plans, and nothing can change or stop them. You asked, ‘Who is this ignorant person saying these foolish things?’ I talked about things I did not understand. I talked about things too amazing for me to know. “You said to me, ‘Listen, and I will speak. I will ask you questions, and you will answer me.’ In the past I heard about you, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. And I am ashamed of myself. I am so sorry. As I sit in the dust and ashes, I promise to change my heart and my life.”
How to Stop 'Suffering' in Circumstance
by Morty LefkoeUnlike most approaches to personal development, The Lefkoe Method has been studied by independent university researchers who’ve found that it works. Studies have shown TLM gets rid of the fear of public speaking, reduces stress by over 51%, and raises self-esteem and that these results are long lasting. The changes people experience are still present months and even years later.