Does God want me to suffer?

Lisa Oz
Health Education

Since we are on the topic of God, in the context of suffering, let us acknowledge the big question. How can God be all-loving and all-powerful, since one negates the other as soon as the atrocities of this world are considered? Either God wants us to suffer or he cannot do anything about it.

God is not playing our game. We think this life is about winning or achieving. For God, it is only about connection. Swedenborg teaches that God's will is that we all be happy, but not the "Gee, I just won the lottery" kind of happy. The level of happiness that God intends is the inner peace and joy that comes from union with the Divine. This is only possible by overcoming the proprium, or false self, and by actively surrendering to Love. This choice cannot be imposed; it must come from free will. To be able to do this, the possibility of choosing Love's opposite has to exist. The opposite of Love can be defined as hate, fear, or evil, but all of these go hand-in-hand with pain.

While God never wants us to suffer, he uses suffering as an opportunity to draw us closer to him. Suffering takes us to a place where we are stripped of the illusion of our own power, where we see the futility of our superficial attachments and misplaced priorities. When we experience anguish in our soul, we enter what Richard Rohr calls "liminal space," a place on the threshold between different planes of existence. All lines become fuzzy; our definition of everything, including ourselves, opens up. It is here that real transformation is possible.

Richard Walsh
Social Work

In my opinion the answer would be no. The following is a quote by GURUDJIEFF

"Nothing can be attained without suffering but at the sametime one must begin by sacrificing suffering."

We all encounter life experiences like death of a loved one, loss of a relationship, loss of a job, financial loss, loss of a physical ability, or a myriad of stressful circumstances sometimes leading to appropriate but unwanted feelings. Feelings of grief, loss of control, worry, and physical pain are some examples. Suffering is usually associated with the persistence of these feelings over time.Typically, there will always be feelings associated with our experiences as we live our lives. From my experience the "antidote" to suffering is gratitude. Look for the blessing in the situation or what is occuring now in your life. Sometimes the only blessing we can identify is gratitude for your  last breath, so start there. There is research showing that people who keep a gratitude journal daily report an increased sense of happiness and well being in their lives, so you may want to start one. Suffering can also be a teacher so be open to learn from it. If you are having trouble moving past your suffering there are support groups available in many communities where people with similar experiences can talk and share their feelings with people that care and are able to understand your pain. If suffering begins to intefere with your daily functioning you may want to consult a professional for an evaluation in order to move through the pain as quickly as possible. A good place to start is your medical doctor. If you want the convenience of a consultation with a medical or mental health professional you can from the privacy of your home or office contact MDLiveCare for a tele-therapy consultation. Suffering is often a state of feeling "stuck", so taking some action is a key first step to letting go of your suffering.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.