Catholic Q&A

If God is truly kind, then why is there suffering in the world?

Why is there suffering in the world? Even for Christians that is eternal mystery. What we know for certain is that God never wants us to be unhappy. Hence, with regard to the question as to why there is suffering in this world, I believe that even though the significance of suffering is hidden from us right now, yet God will one day reveal the meaning to us.

To pray to God for the health of our families and success of our work is human nature. Nevertheless though, I am of the view that we should not adopt the tendency of making our prayers too self-centered. I don’t know the reason for this, but God sometimes puts to the test those whom he loves.

Also, regarding the persistent hardships of your relatives, please do not blame your own sinful life for that. To think in terms of happiness being a reward for having done good and unhappiness being a punishment for having done evil, is actually the reverse side of faith in merits. That would be a God of our own imagination, and not God the Father whom Jesus Christ spoke to us about.

The Gospels inform us of the sufferings that Jesus underwent in the garden of Gethsemane, yet Jesus also entreated God to deliver him from his impending distress. “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” (Mark 14:36). This is a heartrending prayer that pierces my heart each time I read it.

There is no emotive upsurge or animation allied with that prayer. Rather, all that can be sensed are bitterness, sorrow, and distress. From the human side we cannot grasp its significance, and no recompense can be expected. In the midst of that type of forlorn darkness, we earnestly seek the will of God. It is only at a time like that can prayer become true worship of God, free from the secret selfishness of seeking His benefits.

Christians believe that God read the prayer of Jesus, and used his entire zeal as an instrument, to undertake the work of salvation for the well-being of his people. Hence, we believe that when the sufferings of this world too which we are unable to understand, are offered up in conjunction with the sufferings of Christ, they do not by any means become pointless.

By exceeding our imagined value judgements regarding right and wrong and by surpassing also the orders of cause and effect, Almighty God, with an eternal foresight that exceeds human knowledge will definitely utilize the trials of our current world which now seem unbearable, for the creation of a world that is new. He will surely rebuild it anew, not merely for the happiness of the persons concerned, but for the happiness of all who are associated with them as well.

Back to list