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You say "Why does God allow suffering?" I say "Why does God allow Himself to suffer?"

Discussion in 'Christian Philosophy & Ethics' started by Gottservant, Jul 10, 2021.

  1. Gottservant

    Gottservant God loves your words, may men love them also Supporter

    +533
    Messianic
    Hi there,

    So I realised there is a really easy way to bring the discussion on suffering into focus: bring God into the picture!

    The question is typically "why does God allow suffering?", but the reality is that "why does God allow Himself to suffer?" is a deeper question.

    If you can't ask the second question and get an answer, it's only more likely that you won't get an answer from the first.

    My understanding, is that God endeavours to suffer in our place - but I don't have more insight than that, at this point in time (I was sort of hoping the discussion that follows would prove fruitful).

    I suppose if you wanted to be technical you would say "the Devil causes suffering" but then you have the question "why does God allow the Devil to cause suffering?" when really the point I made that "God suffers" is more important ("God suffers more than the Devil").

    Anyway, I'm interested to know what you think - does putting God in the picture help?
     
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  2. Guojing

    Guojing Well-Known Member

    +735
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    Romans 8:18-25 is my go to passage for how the Body of Christ should view suffering.

    Other passages from the Apostle Paul include 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.

    In summary, suffering happen because of the original sin first committed by Adam.

    For us in the Body of Christ, we are to look forward to the redemption of our bodies, which depending on your doctrine of the end times, either begin at the rapture or at the 2nd coming
     
  3. Minister Monardo

    Minister Monardo Well-Known Member

    +2,195
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    I would say that you are "spot on".
    Isaiah 63:
    8
    For He said, Surely they are My people,
    Children who will not lie.
    So He became their Savior.
    9 In all their affliction He was afflicted,
    And the Angel of His Presence saved them;
    In His love and in His pity He redeemed them;
    And He bore them and carried them
    All the days of old.

    Psalm 22:24
    For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
    Nor has He hidden His face from Him; but when He cried to Him, He heard.
     
  4. GospelS

    GospelS Dance.Battle.Music Black.Gold.White Wind.Fire.Oil Supporter

    +2,222
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    True love gives freedom, which then must also involve some suffering, to go to another level and experience it's fruits.
     
  5. Jeshu

    Jeshu Bought by His Blood Supporter

    +7,094
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    God is The Truth - all truth - and God is The Life - all life - and God is Love - all true love proceeds from Him. Truly Life suffers when lives down here suffer, for all lives have life in His Life. He is the truth of our existence, the very Force who gives us shape. In Him we move and have our being. Acts 17:28

    He numbers Himself away for us to be, to have existence even in lies and misconceptions, such is His love for us! When anyone in life suffers, our God suffers, that is how His Love is. God's Love is prepared to die for the good of the other, so Love's Children can foolishly live a life of lies instead of His truth and His Life and His Love, so sad to see that happening so much today.

    For in the lie is little or no truth, The Truth is all distorted and disfigured, as we can see in the Passion of Christ dying on the cross for our sins. And still sin beats up our Lord each time it harms one of these little ones. That is why life is holy and we are not allow to take someone's life without God's permission. That is why transgressions against God's love are called sins, because sin brings death into Life, that has always been the saddest part of life in lies, it dies in the end.

    That is why God is innocent for causing suffering - evil causes suffer - God allows evil to exist because of His love for us. We bring evil up out of the Abyss. Where uncreated it has being. And still God numbers Himself and His righteous wrath away, hoping people see that evil is no good and turning their backs to it and seeking out Him instead, calling them until the day they die to repent of being evil hoping they heed Him and find life in His life so death cannot devour them. Such is the love of God. He suffers evil. Hoping to make something good out of us sinners in the end.

    Truly our God is an awesome God.
     
  6. longwait

    longwait Well-Known Member

    +747
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    The Bible says suffering produces character. The Bible also says Jesus Christ though He was the Son had to suffer and that made Him perfect. So that means suffering is a necessity.
     
  7. Gottservant

    Gottservant God loves your words, may men love them also Supporter

    +533
    Messianic
    I wonder if you could justify suffering, without faith?

    Not that I want worldly faith, but if I take suffering on faith - as you say - how do I know I am experiencing the "right kind" of suffering?

    My understanding is that God suffers, the most inexplicably - and we share the fruit of it.
     
  8. Ivan Hlavanda

    Ivan Hlavanda Active Member

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    First of all, we still suffer because we live in a fallen world.
    Secondly, our faith mostly grows in suffering. Look at the apostles and other Christians in NT. When were they most faithful?? When they were persecuted. If you want your faith to grow, you must go through suffering. How else would you learn how to depend on God and everything was easy? That is why I believe God created weaknesses in our lives, so we depend on Him fully.

    Besides, nothing will test your faith more than suffering and persecution. When you suffer that is when you truly see were your faith is. If I build by faith on sinking sand, then it's good that God sends storms in my life, so my false faith falls and I can still build my faith on the rock of Christ. It's all good to pray, sing, go to Church and help when all is well, but will you do the same when you suffer?

    Did Jesus have it easy? No, He suffered more than we can imagine. So if you are His follower, then you will suffer and be persecuted. Did Jesus promise we would have it easy? No. He promised sufferings and persecution.
     
  9. Gottservant

    Gottservant God loves your words, may men love them also Supporter

    +533
    Messianic
    Yes, but I am pointing out that God suffers and you are turning the conversation around and saying "you should want to suffer"?

    Do you mean I should want to suffer like God, or on my own?

    Can you see the difference, here??
     
  10. Ivan Hlavanda

    Ivan Hlavanda Active Member

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    God does not suffer like we do. There's no action you do that would hurt Him, you cannot twist His arm etc. God is outside all of this. God, in order to save us, came to Earth and took on suffering flesh and suffered for us. Why? To pay the price for our sins, and so He could relate to us as a High Priest sitting by the right hand of the Father.

    The Bible does teach that He is long suffering, but that means He does not judge us according to our sins, because He would have destroyed us and send us to hell a long time ago. Instead, He put aside His just judgement, for time, so people would be saved.

    You should not pray to suffer, but you should pray that God shows you your true faith, even when it means you would suffer. You should also pray that God increases your faith, even if it means that you suffer. Many people say that God will never allow anything what you cannot handle, but that is false, God will never allow anything that you cannot handle. And most of all you should pray 'not my will, but yours will be done' and maybe God's will, will be sometimes that you suffer. Why? Take the apostles for instance, the Gospel in the book of Acts spread the most when Christians were persecutes. Did they pray to God to stop the persecution? No, they prayed that they be bold to spread the Gospel.
     
  11. Gottservant

    Gottservant God loves your words, may men love them also Supporter

    +533
    Messianic
    Ivan, you make a few good points - let me address them...
    I think this is accurate, in that you say God is more able to suffer.
    This makes sense too, that God specifically is long-suffering - because we can model ourselves on God, if He will enable us.
    Lastly this makes sense, that we should suffer for the Gospel - that gives us "focus" (for our suffering).

    My problem with what you have said is that you have driven a wedge between what God suffers, under certain conditions and what we suffer individually (that is, without knowing or understanding in what manner we are suffering).

    I think God presents a greater opportunity than that: namely, that God enables us to see suffering in its purest light - for which there is no regret, that it could be done in some other Name.

    You need to explain to me, if God is greater than Jesus (as He said), how is His suffering as God greater?

    (If you knew the answer to that, you could establish by faith, a greater relationship with suffering, than merely capitulating that someone, somewhere "had to suffer"?)

    EDIT: Don't you think that in as much as we share our Gospel with God, that we share our suffering with God?
     
  12. Ivan Hlavanda

    Ivan Hlavanda Active Member

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    God only suffered during His life on Earth. And yes Jesus suffering was greater than ours. He never sinned, He was always obeying the Father, He was rejected by all (He is the author of all creation). And finally He suffered for all our sins and the wrath of God was poured on Him. No human could have gone through that what Jesus went through. If Jesus didn't, there would be no salvation.
    Jesus is God. Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit are all equal. Jesus never stopped being God, not even on cross or death. What Jesus meant by this verse that God the Father was bigger than Him, at that moment in works, not essence. For example on the cross Jesus was bigger than the Holy Spirit in works, because it was Jesus working. Now it is Holy Spirit who is bigger than Jesus in works here on Earth, but they are always equal in essence.
     
  13. Eloy Craft

    Eloy Craft Myth only points, Truth happened! Supporter

    +716
    United States
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    Suffering gets a bad rap. Since the beginning suffering is preparation for growth. Adam was alone and God said it wasn't good. Then Adam began seeking a companion like himself. The loneliness only intensified as his journey proved how alone he was. Utterly alone with no solution. That prepared him to receive the solution.
    The Kingdom of God on earth has a throne. Golgotha. A mother asked Jesus to place her son's one on His right the other on His left in His Kingdom. Jesus said "you don't know what you are asking for" also, "can you drink the cup I'm about to drink?" The Kingdom of God on earth is capped by a throne of suffering. We've lost the sense of value attached to suffering.
     
  14. WonbyOneanddone

    WonbyOneanddone Active Member

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    Speaking of suffering, reminds me of a joke.

    Adam asked God for a companion in the garden one day complaining he was lonely. Adam asked God for a companion that would attend to his every need and whim 24/7. Someone that would never talk back and do everything he asked them to do. God then retorted, "Well I could but that will cost a an arm and a leg if I do". To which Adam said, "Ok, then what can I get for just a rib?"
     
  15. WonbyOneanddone

    WonbyOneanddone Active Member

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  16. longwait

    longwait Well-Known Member

    +747
    Christian
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    Suffering as a Christian
    Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with God's household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, "If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?" So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. 1 Peter 4:12-19
     
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