Everyone has the thought run across their mind during times of hardship: "Why is God not taking this burden from me?" With all of the natural disasters, acts of terrorism and so much destruction and hatred throughout the world, it is easy to wonder why God would allow good and innocent people to suffer.
What we fail to understand sometimes is that God has an entirely different perspective on our lives than we do. He sees the eternal perspective when all we focus on is the present.
When we come to understand that God is our Father in Heaven who constantly comforts us, worries about us and loves us unconditionally, it is no question that our suffering has a greater purpose than to simply make us miserable and grief-stricken.
There are reasons for all of the sorrow and suffering in the world.
Joy without sorrow
If there were no tragedies in life, how would we recognize the difference between joy and sorrow? The wonderful relief after recovering from a sickness or feeling grief lifted off of your shoulders are indicators of true joy and happiness. If life was completely perfect and there wasn't a worry or care in the world, we would neglect to appreciate the times of complete and utter happiness that we are often blessed with. The sweetest and most rewarding moments in life are the times when you overcome setbacks and even times of great sorrow. Trials bring us closer to God, and our faith and capacity for happiness can grow if we allow them too.
Freedom of choice
We all have free agency. God has a plan for us, but he does not force us to follow it through. It is our choices that determine many of the circumstances we find ourselves in. Terrorists can choose to cause destruction and turmoil, doctors choose to heal and teachers make a decision to guide and help others find their way. With all of the acts of terror on the news lately, we also see people helping those who are afflicted even when means putting their own lives at risk.
Every single day, we all choose to either get up to make the most of ourselves in the world or to neglect our talents and ignore what truly matters. If every person on the earth was perfect and unwillingly forced into making all of the right decisions, God's judgment would be meaningless in the end. Our free agency is the most liberating gift God gave to us, and it can lead to the creation of beautiful things or it can bring out utter chaos in the world.
As Albus Dumbledore once said, "It is our choices ... that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
God's plan for us
There is a purpose for the pain and suffering we all must endure in life. God has an eternal perspective on our lives. He sees and knows all. We are on this earth to grow and become more like him, and comfort does not bring growth, no matter how much we want it to. It would be nice for us to all achieve everything we have ever pursued, but that is not always what is best for us at the time. God does despair with his children when we suffer, and he does all he can to take our hands and walk us through turbulent and devastating times. He also knows how much we will grow and develop spiritually after enduring sorrow. God's guidance and will is the greatest gift we have, even if we don't always understand what he intends for us. And when we do choose to trust in him, he will lead us to true happiness.
In the end, God has promised us all a great amount of blessings both in this life and the next. All the trials and tribulations we face on the earth are shaping us into stronger, greater and more divine children of God. God will always send blessings to us, whether we think we deserve them or not. He will always ensure we have what we need and he will never give us more than we can bear.
God's greatest blessings come in the next life for those who have endured their trials well during their life on the earth. Those amazing promises and blessings are so brilliantly amazing that we cannot fully comprehend their glory. Every choice we make here will determine our circumstances on the other side. God will compensate for us all, both for the good and the evil. We will be blessed or reap the consequences of our actions on the earth.
Suffering and heartbreak will never cease to exist, but with deep sorrow comes complete and true happiness from God.
Chakell Wardleigh has a Bachelor of Arts in English. She spends her days silently (mostly) correcting others' grammar. She adores all things nerd, such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Shakespeare, and anything else that whisks her away from reality. She currently works as an editor for the FamilyShare team. You can usually find her with her nose in a book, laughing too loudly, or belting out songs from Hamilton.