Why are people suffering?

Hi,
Why does God allow young adults, kids especially to suffer from chronic illness?. I sometimes ask myself why did God possibly allow people to become disabled, serious ill etc, while on the other hand criminals are health, free from chronic illness. Now I’m question is God real why are innocent people being treated badly when we have strong faith we get this in return (sickness, short life expectancy!!). why is god evil ?

You are not alone in wondering about this - it is probably the most frequently asked question on these forums.

*This Rock *had some good articles that examine the “Problem of Pain” from a number of perspectives:
catholic.com/thisrock/2007/0701fea1.asp
catholic.com/thisrock/2002/0203fea1.asp
catholic.com/thisrock/1999/9905clas.asp

There are several reasons why, but they may be hard to understand. Diseases, illnesses, and disabilities are results of the fallen state of this world. Physical evil as well as moral evil is a result of original sin. Secondly who’s to say who is innocent? I’m certainly not. We all deserve death for even the smallest sin we have committed. The fact that our God has decided to forgive us and take the penalty instead should chasten us. We have no right to make demands of God. Thirdly, Satan is a described in scriptures as “the king of this world”. We are living under the reign of one who hates God and all He stands for. Satan surely will take effort to harm us to spite God. God will eventually put things right, but that is on His time, not ours. When God destroys evil, He will do a complete job. We are being given time to accept Him. If God were to destroy evil now, where would any of us be? Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, God’s ultimate answer to our suffering is in His taking it on Himself. We have a God who shares in our tears and suffering. If God himself could accept suffering, then why can’t we?

Hope this helps.
God Bless!!!

When we suffer, God works in us in amazing ways. If we could possibly fathom what all God does by turning evil into goodness, we would fall on our knees immediately and cry. We are sinful beings. But what God does with that sin in simply amazing. He turned the death of his son into the life of the nations.

Thank you for replying; however some people suffer from rare condition’s i.e young people under the age of 30 with Parkinson’s Disease. Why on earth would god give thats disease to someone that age it very rare but it happens because of there gene’s possible. why not some other disease why the rare disease which mostly effects people over 60!. Its sad because these people have tremors, stiffness etc that is not in anyway nice, it will not provide to give grace rather it will make there life a living nightmare.

Jesus tells us that people do not suffer because they sinned or because their parents sinned (John 9:2), but people suffer so that works of God can be made manifest in them. If no one suffered then there would be no works of charity, for who would be sick to comfort? Who would be poor to feed?

We suffer as a result of sin, and not always because of personal sin (though one can bring death and destruction upon oneself as a result of sinning). Even the innocent suffer and die. Doesn’t Satan kill children all the time? Or do you think God kills them and takes delight in their destruction? Learn this lesson from Wisdom: “God did not make death, nor does He take delight in the destruction of people” (Wisdom 1:1-15)

Furthermore, if there was no suffering we could not be saved, for how then could Jesus suffer and die for us, if we did not know what suffering is?

Suffering is Satan’s weapon (Book of Job), and he uses it to try to weaken our faith. But through our suffering we can become stronger if we offer our suffering as penance for our shortcomings. The innocent suffer because of the guilty, and when they do, the guilty should pray, repent, comfort the sick and dying, and do many works of charity. But they do not. Instead they blame God for their suffering.

Blaming God for suffering in the world is like shooting yourself in the foot with a gun and then blaming the gun manufacturer for causing your gun shot wound.

Couple things to say here. One is that God does not give diseases. Original Sin gives us the disease. Our fallen nature is responsible for everything disordered and diseased in our earthly life. An incredulity towards our first parents rejection would be far more rational than towards our God. Second, you have to remember that suffering is incredibly redemptive. People afflicted with grave physical ailments, who suffer through with as much humility as they can muster, are not only themselves closer to God than most people on earth, but also allowing their lives to be infinitely more efficacious in the salvation of souls than those who suffer much less.

Perhaps not fair when looking through the lens of our worldly life. But infinitely just when seen through the lens of eternity. You have to see with better eyes, is all.

Peace.

God is NOT evil. Silly thing to say.

I suugest reading these books:

  • Making Sense Out Of Suffering by Peter Kreeft

  • Arise From Darkness by Father Benedict Groeschel

  • Why Does God Permit Evil by Dom Bruno Webb, O.S.B.

Hi,

All the quotes come from the Cathechism of the Catholic Church. Paragraphs 309-314. I am posting my reply in another reply as this may be a little long.

309 If God the Father almighty, the Creator of the ordered and good world, cares for all his creatures, why does evil exist? To this question, as pressing as it is unavoidable and as painful as it is mysterious, no quick answer will suffice. Only Christian faith as a whole constitutes the answer to this question: the goodness of creation, the drama of sin and the patient love of God who comes to meet man by his covenants, the redemptive Incarnation of his Son, his gift of the Spirit, his gathering of the Church, the power of the sacraments and his call to a blessed life to which free creatures are invited to consent in advance, but from which, by a terrible mystery, they can also turn away in advance. There is not a single aspect of the Christian message that is not in part an answer to the question of evil.

310 But why did God not create a world so perfect that no evil could exist in it? With infinite power God could always create something better. But with infinite wisdom and goodness God freely willed to create a world “in a state of journeying” towards its ultimate perfection. In God’s plan this process of becoming involves the appearance of certain beings and the disappearance of others, the existence of the more perfect alongside the less perfect, both constructive and destructive forces of nature. With physical good there exists also physical evil as long as creation has not reached perfection.

311 Angels and men, as intelligent and free creatures, have to journey toward their ultimate destinies by their free choice and preferential love. They can therefore go astray. Indeed, they have sinned. Thus has moral evil, incommensurably more harmful than physical evil, entered the world. God is in no way, directly or indirectly, the cause of moral evil. He permits it, however, because he respects the freedom of his creatures and, mysteriously, knows how to derive good from it:

For almighty God. . ., because he is supremely good, would never allow any evil whatsoever to exist in his works if he were not so all-powerful and good as to cause good to emerge from evil itself.

312 In time we can discover that God in his almighty providence can bring a good from the consequences of an evil, even a moral evil, caused by his creatures: “It was not you”, said Joseph to his brothers, “who sent me here, but God. . . You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive.” From the greatest moral evil ever committed - the rejection and murder of God’s only Son, caused by the sins of all men - God, by his grace that “abounded all the more”, brought the greatest of goods: the glorification of Christ and our redemption. But for all that, evil never becomes a good.

313 “We know that in everything God works for good for those who love him.” The constant witness of the saints confirms this truth:

St. Catherine of Siena said to “those who are scandalized and rebel against what happens to them”: “Everything comes from love, all is ordained for the salvation of man, God does nothing without this goal in mind.”
St. Thomas More, shortly before his martyrdom, consoled his daughter: “Nothing can come but that that God wills. And I make me very sure that whatsoever that be, seem it never so bad in sight, it shall indeed be the best.”

Dame Julian of Norwich: “Here I was taught by the grace of God that I should steadfastly keep me in the faith… and that at the same time I should take my stand on and earnestly believe in what our Lord shewed in this time - that ‘all manner [of] thing shall be well.’”

314 We firmly believe that God is master of the world and of its history. But the ways of his providence are often unknown to us. Only at the end, when our partial knowledge ceases, when we see God “face to face”, will we fully know the ways by which - even through the dramas of evil and sin - God has guided his creation to that definitive sabbath rest for which he created heaven and earth.

God bless.

K now for my reply as promised.

2 things you need to keep in mind.

  1. What you see going on around you is temporary. It is not going to last forever. All suffering and every trial must of necessity come to an end, why? becuase we die. Keep in mind, the reality of eternity. Without the promise of heaven, it would be very bleak indeed. What is 80 years say of suffering and pain compared to an eternal period of glory and blessedness? It cannot compare. Everything here is transitory.

  2. God can bring and does bring a greater good out of everything, and yes even of suffering. Look to the Cross, see how much suffering and pain there was involved, and yet there was an Inifnite amount of Goodness that came out of this. Sometimes we will not be able to see what good is coming out of our trials or those of others on this side, but on the other side of eternity, our eyes will be opened.

God bless.

Who are we finite creaturas ex nihilo [creatures made out of nothing] to question Almighty God? If one sees this as an imperfection in or on God’s part, then that is complete lunacy, for God is Perfect and can and do nothing imperfect. The proper position before Almighty God is prostrate before His throne. There are many things I do not understand, but He sees the big picture.

God only wills for us to come to a closer Union with Him and He will do all that He needs to do to bring that about provided we cooperate with it. Only God knows what is going on in the souls of these persons suffering and He alone knows what is going on, in its fullest measure and ramifications. We should pray for these people, that they will have the grace of perserverance and of faith and of whatever other graces and strengthes that they are in most need of.

God bless.

Thank you for the recommendation on the Kreeft book. I just ordered it and can’t wait to get started!

Try this prayer every day.

“Oh, Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul . . .
I adore You. Enlighten me, guide me
strengthen me, console me. Tell me
what I should say and do . . . give me
Your orders. I promise to submit
myself to all that You desire of me and
to accept all that You permit to happen
to me. Let me only know Your Will.” - Cardinal Mercier

You are on my prayer list.

God is not evil! The devil wants you to believe that. God is infinite goodness.

God’s peace to you and yours.

:thumbsup:

Just a suggestion. Many have tried this approach and have experienced consolation.

Try to carve out some time in your daily schedule. Sit in a quiet room by yourself. Place a crucifix in your hands and look at it for awhile. Think about the reality of what happened on that first Good Friday. Think about what He allowed Himself to go through for you and for me. Then talk to Him. Tell Him everything. Throw it all on Him. He wants it all from you, every bit of it. He really wants to hear it from you. Ask Him for guidance and grace. He will supply it to you and then some.

I am not trying to make light of your situation believe me. But He did tell us all that if we want to be His disciples we must pick up our own cross, everyday, and follow Him. We all have our own tailor made cross to carry.

As our late Holy Father, Blessed John Paul II constantly exhorted us to do," Arise! Be not afraid!"

May God bless you abundantly!

My sincerest apologies for the delay. Furthermore many thanks everyone for replying; you’re comments have been very helpful :slight_smile:

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