Suffering (Finding God Within It)

July 31, 2019

“God is concerned about every affliction we endure…Unquestionably, there is great loneliness in pain and affliction. A wall rears up around those held in the clutches of suffering. The Lord Himself tasted this isolation, as He asked His beloved Peter, “Could you not watch one hour?” (Mk 14:37). And Job, like the Lord, knew that whatever befell him, the hand of God was upon the events. He knew that God cared about his affairs and had not cast him aside. “The Lord gave, the Lord has taken away” (Job 1:21). There is no suffering that any of us endure from which God stands apart, for our God and Savior, Jesus Himself, tasted great pain as a flesh and blood man in His Passion for our Salvation.” (Dynamis 4/8/2019, 7/31/2019)

 

“…God is aware of all suffering…God knows everything about believers, especially their suffering, and that He listens and responds to their cries for help (Heb. 4:12–16)…Sometimes God allows us to go through times when we have no one at our right hand, “no one cares,” just so that we will be very aware of our need for God.” (Foundation Study Bible, Luke 6:22,1 Peter 3:12, Psalms 142:5)

 

“The pain and suffering, we experience are unique to our own person, and so are the myriad lessons they teach us. Out of their depths, however, come common treasures which can strengthen our character, sharpen our understanding, and order our priorities aright. For each of us, therefore, no suffering is without purpose. God allows us the experience of suffering in the hope that we will then share with others what we have learned, and become a source of blessing and help to them. Let us be open to God's comfort so that in the good time of his choosing, He can then comfort still others through each of us.” (Rev. Andrew Demotses)

 

“When we choose to see God at work in our suffering, we can make our suffering meaningful for others in addition to ourselves by replacing self-pity with deeds of love, forgiveness, and mercy.” (Bishop John Michael Botean)

 

“In the Crucified Christ, God does not remain a distant spectator of the undeserving suffering of the innocent but He participates in their suffering through the Cross and plants hope in the life of all afflicted persons through the Resurrection. When faced with the mystery of evil and suffering, the story of Jesus as the story of God is the only adequate response. The human quest for meaning and hope in tragic situations of affliction, draw from Christ’s death and Resurrection the power of life needed for sustenance. Thus, as Christians we do not argue against suffering, but tell a story.” (Fr. Emmanuel Clapsis)

 

“The next time you are called to suffer, pay attention. It may be the closest you’ll ever get to God.” (Max Lucado)

 

 “Growing up, I begged God (what seems like thousands of times) to take the cup of suffering from me, but mostly he didn’t. Instead, he used my pain and difficulties, my desert experiences, to transform me—which in turn alleviated much suffering. As I grew up in the desert, God grew my soul. And although I realize that the suffering I’ve endured is nothing compared to the suffering of countless millions, I’ve learned painful but essential lessons that I couldn’t have learned anywhere else but in the midst of God-haunted suffering.” (Marlena Graves)

 

“When conversion does take place, the process of revelation occurs in a very simple way; a person is in need, he suffers, and then somehow the other world opens up. The more you are in suffering and difficulties and are desperate for God, the more He is going to come to your aid, reveal who He is, and show you the way to get out…In suffering, something goes on which helps the heart to receive God’s revelation." (Fr. Seraphim Rose)

 

"For in Job, we see a man undergo the worst suffering imaginable. He loses his children, his wealthy estate, and even his physical health. Yet, in the end, he is blessed beyond comprehension, far more than he was prior to his sufferings, and he knows God on a more intimate level. Job was not given an answer to his sufferings, he was given a person, God Himself." (Jeffrey L. Morrow)

 

“Paul sees that even his sufferings are a part of his apostolic work. His tribulations are for you, that is, for the Church, for us. So our sufferings can be for others.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Ephesians 3:13)

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