Why believe in an all-powerful and all-loving God with all the suffering in the world?
Thanks to everyone who submitted responses to the question, “Is confession necessary?” in last month’s newsletter. Click here to see how people answered the question.
This month’s “Whaddaya Say” is about the question, “Why believe in an all-powerful and all-loving God with all the suffering in the world?” This question often comes up in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. Many people want to know why God is allowing it. If He is all-powerful, He can stop it, and if He is all-loving, doesn’t He want to? It’s a tough question, and we want to know what you think!
So, imagine you’re out with your friends at a bar and the following discussion comes up:
Friend 1: So you two are religious, right? Because I have to ask — how can you still believe in God in the middle of this pandemic?
Friend 2: What do you mean?
1: I mean you think God loves us, right? Doesn’t he want to stop all the suffering and dying?
2: I’m sure He does.
1: Then why doesn’t he? What’s stopping him if he’s all-powerful?
2: I don’t know, maybe it’s part of His plan. He works in mysterious ways.
1: Do you mean you believe God planned this?
Now it’s your turn to jump in. What would you say next?
In one way God would not want to take away our sufferings because of their beneficial affect. If we did not suffer, we would not care about God or our journey of salvation. However, God does occasionally, miraculously remove an individual’s suffering. However, this is the exception and not the norm.
No, I don’t believe God planned it. However, His original intent was that we all live in harmony in the garden with Adam and Eve with the presence of God. Due to the fall of man, we all experience suffering in various degrees. Since the fall of man, he now needs to be reconciled to the Father’s love. Man has a tendency to be self-centered. Our sufferings should help us reach out to Christ the God man who suffered His passion and death. Anything Christ did in His earthly life is somehow an example for all to benefit from. Suffering has purpose in our journey of salvation. With deep feeling (compassion) and devotion, may we contemplate the Lord’s Passion, the suffering of his Heart, and His great love for us. Everyone in the world suffers: accept it, unite it to Christ in his suffering, and begin to find its hidden treasure. Jesus would say: All I want is for you to be My friend. All I want is for you not to be afraid of Me and to come to Me.
Suffering is all part of God’s plan to mold us into the image of Christ. It is through suffering that the soul is purified.– Clarence B
This one, I think, you can only really learn by experience. Learn about the life of JPII and read Salvicifi Doloris, knowing that what he wrote came from his life of suffering. Then, when life hurts, sink into it, and sink into prayer. Try it. I don’t know what to say except that the intimacy you can find with God when everything is falling apart is indescribable. There are saints who had a deep love for suffering and took on as much of it as they could. I’m not one of them, but I don’t think they’re insane like I used to think.– Mary T
God allows suffering & evil like Covid, Cancer, school shootings and hurricanes because He knows He can bring a greater good out of them. A good that we might not be able to imagine, and a good that we may never know this side of heaven.
Like me with the worst brain cancer where half die in 15 months and only 5% are alive in 5 years. Yet Thanks to God and the outpouring of support and counting all my blessings, I’m the happiest I’ve been in my entire LIFE‼️– Gill D
His promise is not in this life. It is in the eternal life to come. He has told us there will be suffering, there will always be poor. Remember he has conquered the world by dying for our sins.– David K
Blame Adam and Eve! Jesus came to save us from the evil they brought upon us; but even so, we still have free will to accept or deny His Grace. No one suffered more than Jesus on the Cross. It’s difficult to understand sometimes; but out of suffering, we can grow and learn so much; and we can become closer to God; we can unite ourselves to His suffering and ‘take up our cross’. It’s a matter of perspective. It’s okay to be angry, bitter, scared, sad, etc. But, how do we respond after that? What do we do with our suffering and how do we use that perspective to help others? I don’t have the answers to these questions. This is just how I choose to look at it; continue to pray and trust in God. We cannot understand His mind and His will. We simply have to have faith and trust. “In the world you will have trouble, but take courage; I have conquered the world”!– Suzanne C
God does not CAUSE suffering but He ALLOWS it and will use it for His great glory and ours. We are going to suffer but God chose to show His love for us particularly through suffering when He asked His Son to suffer and die for us on the cross. Suffering leads to obedience. If you’re going to follow Christ and your final destiny will be heaven with God you are going to suffer. It’s what we do with our suffering that makes it efficacious. Offer your pain up to God for anything. The Holy souls in purgatory especially need our help. For someone you see sinning and moving. away from the sacraments. If you offer you suffering up to Jesus to make up for the lacking when He suffered God is greatly pleased. Suffering is painful but so is having your hands and feet nailed to a cross. Until the pain from suffering transcends that suffering, accept it as a gift from God to assist you to get to heaven. It is possible for everyone to become a saint but all saints suffered. Suffering is redemptive. You may be assisting God by suffering for someone else. Really the REASON we suffer is none of our business. It’s God’s. He’s just using you to assist Him.– Michele L
Suffering exists because God allows us to experience the consequences of our actions. This is what a good father does. Hopefully we learn from it and become better. You may wonder about the innocent person who suffers? Because of the fall of our first parents, none of us are innocent. We’re all in this together. Rather than complain about suffering, let’s see it as an opportunity to care for the afflicted. This is how we grow in love and holiness. This is how we become saints, by performing works of mercy.– Robert A