Why do people of faith suffer?

My friends Nithya and Prateek informed me about Ben Larson. He was a seminary student from the US who went to Haiti with his wife and cousin to serve in the Lutheran Church there and died in the earthquake. I really want all of you to check out his music as he was extremely talented. You can find more about Ben Larson here.

I often wonder why people of faith who set out to do good deeds and help always seem to suffer the most. Most of them lead good lives, follow God’s directions and yet suffer. For people who dont share the same religious views, this might seem funny as its only natural to wonder why God would punish his own children. Personally, my family has had to deal with quite a few challenges and have often wondered why God is not listening to our prayers. I still dont have a complete understanding as I dont know the bible nearly as well as I should, but believe that suffering is basically God’s way of testing our faith. When everything is going well, it is easy for us to say that we are Christians and that we believe in God. But when we are tested, how do we react? That is the true test. Do we ridicule God then and forget the countless times he has come to our rescue? We have to keep our faith strong and believe that God always has a purpose for his actions. In my case, I believe that the incidents in my life are merely opportunities for me to witness God’s unfailing love. It really tests me at times, and I dont understand it short term. But when I look back at my life and how things have progressed, I have no doubt that God did everything for a reason. I am sure that there are many right now who are suffering and wondering why God is letting it happen. Dont let your faith be broken. Be strong! In due time, God will reveal to you why he did what he did. BELIEVE that God is in total control of your lfie.

10 Comments on Why do people of faith suffer?

  1. George
    February 26, 2010 at 10:48 am (4 years ago)

    A great article I found that explains the same question – http://bible.org/article/why-christians-suffer

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  2. jayswami
    February 26, 2010 at 11:20 am (4 years ago)

    thats inaccurate

    suffering does not discriminate

    but people of faith discriminate what to report and what not to

    when someone like this dude perishes, then someone like u blogs about it and sends chain mail etc..

    thats the only difference

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  3. George
    February 26, 2010 at 11:27 am (4 years ago)

    Jay,
    I dont think you even got what I was trying to say. Maybe it will help if you try to look at it unbiased. I DID NOT say that only people of faith suffer. Everyone suffers obviously whether you are one with faith or an self proclaimed “militant atheist” like you. My question was WHY people of faith suffer and how it does not always make sense since God is supposed to protect people of faith. I wrote this totally based on my experience and seeing people around me. Definitely seems to me that in our Christian circle, the faithful seem to be tested the most.

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  4. Meera manohar
    February 26, 2010 at 4:41 pm (4 years ago)

    Agree with your thoughts. Think god always has a way of showing us why things happened the way they did, probably not now but definitely sometime in the future, and losing faith momentarily is also common given that the human mind always wants to find a reason o attribute things that happened to. But then we always end up realizing that it is not the way to go about thinking about things that don’t work for us.

    My 2c ofcourse….

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  5. Mihir
    February 26, 2010 at 4:45 pm (4 years ago)

    Dude,

    I disagree.

    God, whichever God one believes in, is SUPPOSED to protect believers and non-believers alike. That is why he/she is God.

    I also think that there should not be ANY suffering – for believers or non-believers alike.

    Your premise then should be, why does God test people of faith MORE than the others and that I believe is a more apt question.

    Just my $0.02 !!!

    Hope all’s well.

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  6. George
    February 26, 2010 at 4:51 pm (4 years ago)

    Thank you all Jay, Meera, Mihir for your feedback.

    Mihir – This discussion was really meant for believers/people of faith (Christian or non Christian) who have undergone rough times and wondered why God is letting such things happen. The discussion is not about whether God should protect everyone or just believers! Also the definition of “Protect” can be clouded. What we think is right for us short term might not necessarily be good for us long term. We dont have the wisdom to understand God’s divine plans.

    As for “God testing people of FAITH more” – thats exactly it.. that is what I was trying to address coz thats what I have seen amongst my circle of friends and family.

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  7. Kartik
    February 26, 2010 at 6:11 pm (4 years ago)

    Hey George,

    You bring up an important point.
    I strongly believe that suffering is a state of mind, which is a result of attachment to the world in general (whether in the form of relations, or in the form of objects). If you truly believe in GOD, and do realize that this is a mere materialistic world, where suffering results as a result of ones attachment to this world, ONLY then are you a TRUE believer, and hence will be relieved of all suffering.

    I dont necessarily think people of faith suffer more than people who dont have faith. I think people of faith, have an expectation that they should not suffer, and as a result are more sensitive to it when they do suffer. One person suffering more than other, is merely a state of mind, where one person is able to cope up with the suffering more than the other, and hence it seems like the person is not suffering.

    My $0.02. :)

    -Kartik

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  8. keepitreal
    February 27, 2010 at 12:07 am (4 years ago)

    2 words – “shi- happens”

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  9. jayswami
    March 1, 2010 at 11:27 am (4 years ago)

    kartik, what you say follows buddhist and hindu philosophy.
    christianity philosophy about suffering is a diametric opposite.
    Christians perceive suffering ins a very different ways that hindus and buddhists.

    in buddishm and hindusim, both of which belive in the concept of rebirth and reincarnation,suffering is an essential part of life, and the cause of all suffering is desire. and when desires are renounced and destroyed, rebirth will cease, and one attains moksha or nirvana.

    the bible’s take on suffering is very different.
    here, sufferring though part of life, is a direct consequence of man’s sins or temptation to sin.
    hence christians around the world find it difficult to digest that bad things can happen and do happen to really good people. So certain profound questions for them would be non issues for hindus and buddhists, and vice versa

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  10. Dr.Priya Rajan
    April 20, 2010 at 4:39 am (4 years ago)

    George beautiful topic to be discussed.
    Faith and Faith :) In fact, what is faith? It is whole hearted surrender to the Supreme and living on hope, yet marching forward positively at every step.
    Well, let me put my views as simple as i can.. just my 2c worth:)

    Personally have come across cases both at the medical and personal level that people who trust GOD are tested at every step. Professional, social, and personal relationships are put to test. Agree, with you a true believer has to face innumerable hurdles on all spheres.

    I strongly can tell that even amidst all this yet he or she is
    bestowed with the peace of GOD, which fame, riches, and the world can never offer. Here, alone we can feel the GRACE of the Almighty who protects us.

    George my life itself is a witness to many difficult times, yet it is the Will and the LOVE of GOD and His abundant Grace which keeps my days’ going.

    My life is a complete surrender to HIM, all i know is to only Praise and thank Him even at difficult times and no grumblings:) As human beings we are born to realize the love of GOD in this life, to care and love every human being and accept life as a gift from God thank Him sincerely from one’s bottom of the heart.

    Why not we put this question to our-self
    - if we are deserted by our loved ones, for whom we cared?
    - if all our material possessions are snatched and we are left to start our life from the scratch?
    - if our own family disowns us for no fault of ours?
    Yes, we face many temptations in life:)
    Yes, these things are true and can happen in one’s life, yet if we with a smile carry our cross and don’t hate anyone & still
    love the people who caused all this.. then we are facing the
    test with confidence and will be called a child of God.
    So would conclude by saying – People of Faith will be tested hard, yet a man of Faith will still cling to one’s belief and come out successfully may be not as the world perceives
    like fame and material well being alone the world looks for – but the Soul thirst is quenched by the Love of God:)

    Sorry, George for this long lecture, could not keep it short.
    Please do post more topics like this which i love to discuss:)
    After seeing your blog feel like writing all this in a blog in my free time.
    Kindly post it only if you free it is worth else a perfect “NO”.
    God Bless U and your family always.

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