The PROBLEM of SUFFERING is one of the oldest and biggest challenges ever faced philosophically, as well as by every living person. In this short video, Dr. Cynthia reviews some of the reasons for suffering.
The first thing to remember is that earth is not heaven. Somehow, we keep expecting everything to work out well for us – yet that will never happen. It helps to recall that Adam and Eve were sent out of the Garden of Eden for disobeying God. People have faced big problems ever since. This is commonly called “The Curse.” Men would primarily be affected by the difficulty of work, bringing forth food from soil filled with rocks and weeds. Women would primarily face challenges in relationships that they care about, especially with their husband, childbirth, and children raising. As we look around the world today, we see how this is true.
Some suffering we bring upon ourselves. Our choices bring consequences. If we drink too much alcohol we face physical diseases, relationship problems, and possible arrest. If we break laws, we may be punished. If we are unkind, we may end up alone.
Still, there are some kinds of suffering that do not seem to be our fault – perhaps a car accident or a fatal disease. As Ecclesiastes 9:11 says in the Bible, “time and chance” happen to all of us.
In Eastern Religions, what happens to you is your own fault. It is part of your “bad karma.” Suffering is a way of paying for this karma or sin. Praise God, we do not have that in the Christian faith! Yes, we do reap what we sow, but time and chance happen too. Jesus made this clear to his disciples when they asked who sinned that a man was born blind. He said neither, but that the power of God could be shown in him. When you are facing unmerited suffering, ask God to use it to show his power in your life!
Credits: “Ana Mosh Hashok” and incidental music by Joseph Nassrallah, used with permission