Meaning of Life
There a God?
Why Does God Allow Suffering?
"Isn't God all-good? If He loves His children, why do I have to suffer? Why am I being punished?
My prayers go unanswered."
You are not being punished by God. He does not either punish or reward people in this life. That all has to wait until the next.
God is indeed infinitely good. Therefore He could not keep the infinite happiness of His existence in heaven all to Himself. His goodness led Him to create others like Himself, His true children, to share that happiness.
If we were not His true children, we could not experience infinite happiness the way He does, just as our cats and dogs here on earth cannot possibly experience happiness as we do, or share with us the pleasures of this world—music, plays, literature, Super Bowls, sunsets. It is all lost on them. God does not want His happiness to be lost on us.
"But if God is all powerful, why can't we just live like angels here on earth and be happy all our lives? "
To begin with, the angels are not true children of God, and so do not share with Him the same kind of infinite happiness which is our destiny. But more to the point, that is indeed exactly how we started out: in a place with no suffering at all!
"God will not interfere in our lives? That is discouraging. It would almost seem that a little 'Divine Intervention' would be necessary sometimes, and certainly appreciated."
God will not interfere in His Plan for our lives, because it is already the best possible plan to bring us to heaven with Him. But we certainly can (and should) pray that this plan includes the special favors that we ask of Him. His plan takes into account all of the free-will choices that we make, including how much we pray and how diligently we try to follow His commands. By all means talk to God all the time about a happier life here on earth.
Here is a big tip: It does not make sense for you to ignore helping God, and then ask for Him to help you.
But how are you ignoring God? Christ (God) said this:
You have my Father's blessing! Inherit
the kingdom prepared for you. For
I was hungry and you gave me food;
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink;
I was a stranger and you welcomed me;
I was naked and you clothed me;
I was ill and you comforted me;
I was in prison and you came to visit me."
Then the just will ask Him,
"Lord, when did we do such things to you?"
And the Son of Man will answer them:
"I assure you, as often you did any of these things
for the least of your brothers, you did it for me."
This is our basic interaction with God. When we help others, we are helping Him. It just makes sense that His plan for us might include more help if we always give Him (others) all the help possible. Favors are a two-way street.
But even then, be aware that His best plan for getting you to heaven with Him might still include a hard, painful life on earth. After all, His own life on earth was extremely painful. You can ask and ask for it not to be (as He did also), but you must trust Him, and if that is your lot in life, you must accept His decision, and trust that that He knows better than you do how to run the universe .
And never stop praying. The best way to get through difficult times is to constantly say to God, who is right there with you, "Stay with me, Father. Please stay right here with me!"
A full discussion of the mystery of prayer is on our page at Prayer.
”I just have a real hard time with faith. My life ever since I can remember has been one bad thing after another. I'm just so tired. I have done a lot of terrible things in my life and a lot of terrible things been done to me. I am so alone, and feel like I do not even want to go on.”
So now is the time to change. You are lucky indeed. There is still time.
The first thing to know is that God loves you even as a sinner. Complete, infinite love. You are His own child. He wants only that you recognize this, and try to do His will. He has an eternity of happiness waiting for you. He is infinitely happy, and He wants to share all that happiness with you.
You say you have done many terrible things in your life. OK, that was your old life. You have a new life now. It started about ten seconds ago. Everything is going to change. First, you are going to be basically cheerful, because you now know that you are going to live forever, and that you will be infinitely happy that whole entire time. Now that is truly good news, right?
Second, I am going to tell you how to be happy in this life, too. Maybe not rich or powerful or healthy, but happy. You just have to try to do God’s will. You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to make an effort, and be sorry when you fail.
God’s will is just this: take care of other people. Do your best to make them happy. Do not think of yourself. Think first of others. Feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, cheer up everyone around you. Be a nice person. Love everyone.
Why? Every person on earth is your brother or sister, another child of God. No matter how bad they are right now, God loves them and wants you to be kind and caring to them.
So this is it, the secret of life in God’s own words: Love God, and love your brethren as much as you love yourself.
If you make an effort to do that, you will be as happy as possible here on earth, and can confidently look forward to an eternity of happiness with God.
”Why did God not calm the waters in the large Tsunami? If he is allowing nature to take its course, what is he trying to teach us -- what can we learn from disasters?”
We can learn that this world is not Paradise, where there were no disasters. Genesis makes it clear that God considered this painful world to be the just result of our sin of pride, of equating ourselves with Him by thinking that we could live by our own rules, and not His.
That we cannot expect to live a certain number of years; how long we spend on earth does not matter, and we must always be prepared to face God.
That there are indeed apparent reasons (such as natural disasters) to doubt the goodness of God and His plans for us, and that for whatever reasons He has, He asks us to overcome our doubts and have firm faith.
God wants to give us the opportunity to do heroic things, such as helping those who have become victims. There can be no heroes if there are no disasters.
”If God is fair, why did He make us different in all ways, like rich and poor, black and white?”
Because God is all powerful, people sometimes think of Him as sitting somewhere watching what is going on and pulling strings and influencing events and making choices about things like who gets to be born rich and who gets to be born poor. Not so.
The world and its workings are left purely and entirely to random chance. God does not interfere, because He knows these things are not important.
What God does do is to give each and every person an equal chance at attaining heaven. Rich or poor, devout family or heathen, black or white, everyone is born with the same (good) chance at being able to achieve salvation. This is something of a mystery. Nevertheless, God would not be God if it were otherwise.
Go to THE MAIN INDEX HOME PAGE for a full list of help, including our pages "Is There a God,"
" I get too much stress at home and I wish I would just die. Why am I even alive?"
God has a plan for your life—for you. There are many wonderful things that He wants you to do in life: many kind smiles to strangers, many donations to feed the hungry, many visits to lonely and sick people. You may someday have your own family to cherish and raise in God's love.
Happiness really isn't about how other people treat us; it is about how we treat other people. It is not about how much love we get, it is about how much love we give.
"How can you say that God cares about us, when you do everything that He says and then He rewards the people that don't believe in Him?"
God loves all of His children, even the ones who do not believe in Him yet or disobey Him.
Now sit down, because I am going to drop a bombshell on you: as a Christian, you are obligated to love those wicked people, and help them, and pray for them. Christ commanded us to. And just when you thought that following Christ could not get any harder!
You can do it, though, with His help. In fact, nothing can be done without His help. So ask for it as often as possible.
No, unfortunately, this help does not include things of this world that we want, like money and love. It is limited to the only thing that really matters, getting us to eternal happiness.
"I am the only one in my family that works, but it seems like that my work doesn't accomplish anything, as I am just always behind on my bills."
So far you have been able to hold everything together, to feed everyone, and to keep a roof over their heads. And you say you don't accomplish very much? That is a huge accomplishment!
When you die, you will not be judged by how much money you made, or how many times your house payment was late. That will all mean absolutely nothing. You will be judged on the care you took of other people, of the joy you managed to bring to their lives, of the hurts you were able to heal. All you can do is try your best. You will be judged on how hard you try to follow God's commands and your own conscience.
Every smile that someone gives you in response to a kind word is a great treasure that you will take with you to heaven. Every good deed you do will be repaid a thousand times over by God. You can amass quite a fortune here in this world even if you never have a penny of money. And the best part is, you will have all eternity to spend it.
Go to THE MAIN INDEX HOME PAGE for a full list of help.
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