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4 Causes of Suffering
What is Suffering?
Suffering is when a person undergoes deep pain, either physical, mental, or spiritual. It is an experience of distress and hardship in a person's Life. All of us can suffer ad no one can escape suffering. Either the righteous or the wicked can experience suffering. It does not pick its victim. A righteous can suffer because of trials while the wicked will suffer because of their sins.
Suffering has many forms. It can be in the form of natural calamities, famine, sickness, poverty, violence, and accidents that can happen to anyone, anytime and anywhere.
Why is there Suffering?
Despite the efforts of the Government and various charitable organizations to ease the suffering of the people, It seems that it is still not enough to get rid of the suffering. They can't solve poverty no matter how much they give to the poor and no matter what they do. The medicine, the vaccine, and the latest medical treatment and technology can't cure all the illness. Crime rate and violence have no end and still growing, there are wars and terrorisms and conflicts. But why is there suffering?
Let's Go Back To Where it Started
It all started when Adam and Eve disobeyed the commandment of God which is;
" And the Lord God commanded the man, ' You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.' "
Genesis 2: 16-17 NIV
Once upon a time, everything was perfect. There is no suffering in the garden of Eden. And Adam and Eve are free to stay in the garden, all they have to do is to obey God's Commandment.
But Eve was tricked by the serpent along with Adam and they ate the forbidden fruit. And this is the start of suffering. Adam and Eve were banished from the garden of Eden and are punished for their disobedience.
" To Adam he said, ' Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,'
"Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field."
"By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground since from it you were taken; For dust you are and to dust, you will return."
Genesis 3:17-19 NIV
" So the Lord God banished him from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken."
Genesis 3:23 NIV
And this is the start of suffering and death!
People suffer and die because of the sin that Adam and Eve committed when they disobeyed God. Now that we know where the suffering started, Let's talk about the causes of suffering.
The 4 Causes of Suffering
There are 4 main causes or reasons of suffering, and these are;
1. Due to Decisions That We Made
" Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature from that nature will reap destruction; The one who sows to please the spirit, from the spirit will reap eternal life."
Galacia 6:7-8 NIV
God has given us free will and whatever the consequences of our decisions, God is not responsible for the result because it is us who are deciding what we do, it is our free will. God does not want us to smoke cigarettes, to be drunk, and to waste ourselves to the desires of our flesh but we chose to do it anyway, humans chose to do what they want and so they reap what they sow. The result is sickness, poverty, etc. and we are punished because we chose to sin.
2. Unexpected Events
" I have seen something else under the sun:
The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favour to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.
Moreover, no man knows when his hour will come:
As Fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so men are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them."
Ecclesiastes 9: 11-12 NIV
There are a time and chance that happens to us all and only God knows when will these unexpected events will come. Suffering can happen to all people whether they are righteous or wicked and no one knows when and where it will happen to us.
What is one of the examples of these unexpected events in the Bible?
One of the examples is the unfortunate events that happen in the life of Job, a righteous man and follows every command of God. One day he unexpectedly loses his livelihood, his servants, and his children. He caught a skin disease which made him suffer even more. His friends thought it was his fault and that he committed a sin and that he was being punished because of that. His family, friends, and servants leave him and alienated him. People ridicule him and laugh at him. all of these events happened unexpectedly and Job doesn't even know why it happened to him.
Why do we face trials?
" Consider it pure joy my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. "
James 1:2-4 NIV
We face trials so that we can mature and become complete so that in our trials, we can glorify God by not giving up and not losing our faith. It makes our faith stronger than before!
4. The One Who Controls The World
" We know that we are children of God and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one."
1 John 5:19 NIV
The whole world is under the control of the evil one so it is not surprising that people suffer. People live in this world, and who is this evil one who governs the world? It is Satan. And the devil likes it when we lose hope and lose our faith so he will do any means necessary to draw us away from God.
" In which, you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. "
Ephesians 2:2 NIV
Crimes, violence, war, terrorism, and all acts of evil, these things cause so much suffering, sadness, and all negativity and sin. The devil used those who are disobedient to inflict suffering on others.
We can't blame God for all the suffering we had and all the problems we faced. In fact, It is God who protects us and help us when we suffer. In the first place, God does not want his children to suffer. God always look after us and care for us. His mercy and love is always there no matter what. Because of God, there is no suffering that lasts forever, and there is no problem without a solution. Because of God, there is always hope, joy, and peace. And the devil cant win against God. God takes advantage of the troubles the devil do to make true disciples grow in faith and become complete.
One day God will end all of the sufferings. God has a master plan and all we must do is to believe and have faith! through Lord Jesus Christ, God's master plan will be fulfilled and there will be no suffering, no sadness, no bad guys, and no illness. there will be new heaven and earth where there is only happiness! Imagine a world like that!
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© 2017 Christian Santos