Is God responsible for suffering?
God and Suffering: Challenge of Faith
"If God is almighty, why is there so much suffering in the world?" There is no simple answer to this question - be it posed out of existential need or formulated as an argument against belief. For many, suffering, misery and catastrophes are the impetus to doubt God and turn their back on faith: Suffering as the "rock of atheism" (Georg Büchner, + 1837)
Two common attempts to explain suffering have been refuted: Illness and suffering as God's means of education. - Objection: What educational goal would God pursue with a starving baby? Suffering as a punishment for man's sin. - Objection: Why do innocent people often suffer while perpetrators clearly lead a good life?
The Bible testifies to an intense struggle over this question. Undoubtedly, the "theory of punishment" can be found in many texts of the Bible. But the book of Job thwarts all attempts to "figure out" suffering with God: Job is right against his friends - all of whom are eloquent advocates of the "theory of punishment": suffering is not the causal consequence of previous sins. Jesus also rejects speculation about the source of suffering. When asked "Rabbi, who sinned ... so that he was born blind?" he answers "neither he nor his parents" (Jn 9,2f). Jesus brings the divine power to change and overcome suffering into play. For him it is not about where the suffering comes from, but about where the suffering is going: about healing, but also about enduring before God: "My God, my God, why have you left me?" (Mt 27:46)
The patience of God
The question remains: if God is love, why does the world look the way it looks? Why doesn't God intervene? Benedict XVI. put the problem in a nutshell: "It is not violence that redeems, but love. It is the sign of God, who is love itself. How often do we wish that God would show himself stronger. That he would attack evil exterminate and create the better world ... We suffer from the patience of God. And yet we need them all. The God who became the Lamb tells us: ... The world is redeemed through the patience of God. " (Sermon April 24, 2005)
The omnipotence of love
It is therefore necessary to link the omnipotence of God with his being love: love is non-violent. God's omnipotence is the omnipotence of his love: Almighty God can do everything that love can do. And: Love is only apparently powerless: "Always decide for love! If you have made up your mind to do so once and for all, you will conquer the whole world. Serving love is a tremendous power. It is the greatest power of all, and there is one of its kind it not." (Fyodor M. Dostoevsky)
The compassionate god ...
The God who is love stands against suffering, and he shares in the weal and woe of his creatures. In Jesus he made suffering and the suffering a matter of the heart. His co-suffering is not a sign of weakness. God does not perish in the suffering of the world. His presence in the sufferer aims at strengthening and ultimately at overcoming the suffering. God's love is stronger than sin and death and promises universal salvation, justice and healing all Suffering.
... is looking for fellow lovers
Cheap consolation? - The compassionate God is looking for compassionate and co-lovers who open themselves to his spirit and, in following Jesus, alleviate suffering as much as possible or carry it with and accompany it.
Don't leave God
The love of God does not keep me in front all sorrow, but she keeps and sustains me in all sorrow. It is crucial that I do not leave God in my suffering. Lamentation is also a way of staying in relationship with God. Like Job crying out to God his pain. "Whatever happens to you, make it a prayer." (Tomas Kaupeny)
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