Building Of Faith Through Suffering Essay Research

Building Of Faith Through Suffering Essay, Research Paper Building Faith through Suffering People usually go to a rabbi for comfort and guidance when tragedy and misfortune intrudes into their lives. So what happens when the rabbi, who has counseled others concerning their despair, is hit with tragedy themselves.

Building Of Faith Through Suffering Essay, Research Paper

Building Faith through Suffering

People usually go to a rabbi for comfort and guidance when tragedy and misfortune intrudes into their lives. So what happens when the rabbi, who has counseled others concerning their despair, is hit with tragedy themselves. This is the situation for one particular rabbi. Harold S, Kushner, Author “When Bad Thing Happen to Good People,” was faced with such a tragedy. Kushner had a son who possessed a terrible health condition called procera, a rapid aging disorder. Upon hearing this news, Kushner was very confused. Kushner, had grown up believing bad things happen to only bad people, and good people were virtually home free, or free from harm, with some exceptions. He couldn’t understand why it had to be his son suffering. Especially since he was a good man himself who had lived a good clean life. Nonetheless he had to face the fact that he would lose his only son to this disease, and there was nothing he could do about it. It was at this time Kushner began to question his views on who suffers and why they suffer. He realized it is not always the bad that suffers, but sometimes those that are good endure it as well (Kushner 452). These views have been reviewed and illustrated through the biblical Book of Job, in which Job is a pious servant of God who, in quick succession, loses his children, his wealth, and his health. But he endures patiently. He believes that whether God gives or takes, God must be blessed, never doubted. Eventually Job makes an impatient reply to his suffering, and he challenges God to justify why calamities should strike down a faithful servant. Job believes himself blameless and ill-treated and he will not be silent. He complins bitterly , until God appears in a whirlwind with a thunderous answer. God explains he is in control. He is sovereign. All things happen with his knowledge of them. He explains that moral decent people should be obedient out of love for God without the calculation that moral obedient people will be rewarded with good fortune. People are rewarded not for their goodness but for their loyalty (Book 397). But why do people suffer? More importantly, the good people, even they have to endure adversity or suffering. What is the rationale for dealing with pain? And why me? New Webster’s Dictionary defines suffering as “undergoing pain; to endure, or to be affected by” (New 219). If this is true then there is some reasoning behind suffering. This is where faith comes into play. The biblical definition for faith is “the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things of things not seen.” Faith is defined as, “belief, confidence or trust in (New 82).” Faith can strengthen, guide, or even enlighten a person. It is what holds you firm and steadfast in the path of adversity. And it is what gets you through it. From faith you are made stronger, humble, and enlightened. Faith is enriched after enduring suffering. It will develop a more optimistic perspective regarding adversity.

Before looking at bounties of faith through suffering. You must realize that this perspective is not shared by all. In fact some believe otherwise of suffering. Suffering is often seen as an unpleasant situation or just painful in which nothing good ever comes from it. When most people see it coming, or are in the midst of it, they become depressed, even distraught. They feel a terrible injustice has befallen them. And there is no way out of the situation. Nor do they ever see an end. It is hell on earth, and I am caught up in side of it. And then once through the turmoil, they do not look back to reflect. There was no good to come of it. It only upset them, or brought nothing but misery. People view suffering as another incident that has stolen a part of my soul. Man is unable to subject the painful experience of human existence to a meaningful experience (Wheaton). Man sees no point to pain. It does no one any good. Though at some time it may end, like a tornado will stop destroying eventually, it will leave nothing but devastation and misery.

Once the reality of a terrible incident has set in, and you have begun to experience the suffering or pain as a result, bitterness can eventually consume you. Because of your suffering you become bitter and see only the pain you have gone through. Bitterness will isolate a man from any remotely similar situations that could possibly bring about a recurrence of the same situation which brought you pain in the first place. For instance, consider divorcees that refuse to marry again after going through a previous marriage, in which they were abused or cheated on, one time after another by the same person. After awhile a person becomes conditioned into believing that if this situation brings me so much pain, where one who says they love you is capable of hurting or lying to you, it is likely that it could happen again. The torment endured is too great to face the possibility that it could happen again. Aside from this possibility is one in which you not only are hesitant to go on, but you protect yourself by taking the identity of that which caused you so much pain. Consider this. If you are abused, then you will abuse. If you are cheated on, then you will cheat. If you are violently assaulted, then you will assault. People can become so bitter that they see only the pain they have received then feel the only protection against it, is to display yourself. In Jasper, Texas, three white men are being sentenced to death for killing a black man by beating and dragging him behind a truck on the road. During the trial one of the men, in his defense, began his testimony by telling the jury of his dysfunctional family life from birth. He explained that his mother abandoned him and his brother when he was 3, and that he never met his biological father until two weeks before the trial (Babineck). This man felt as though the pain of losing his mother and never having his father around, was compelling enough to take someone else’s life, or to be party to it. He carried his anger and bitterness with him until it prompted him to act on it. Bitterness is an effect of suffering. It can destroy as it was brought on by destruction.

When one is faced with their anger, then eventually become bitter as a result of it, then ultimately will look to themselves to blame for their pain and suffering. Sometimes people blame themselves for their suffering. They believe they must have done something to deserve the pain they endured, or else it would not be happening. The belief that pain is brought about by our own actions is within everyone of us. It is one of those possible scenarios we all consider. However, some us move past self blame to view other possibilities, while others focus on the notion that is was somehow their fault. Texas A& M University, are mourning the accidental deaths of eleven students and one alumnus from the collapse of a pyramid of logs to be used for a bonfire at the homecoming festivities. The University President discontinued the bonfire as a part of homecoming and said, “I think everyone wants to see the bonfire, but until we have concluded our investigation and know the causes of this tragedy, I think the possibility that it will not continue will be left on the table” (Hanna, Lee). Blame in any tragedy is always sought after. We believe someone or something was done to cause the suffering. Whether I or someone else caused it is one question. Another question is why. Many people usually hold others responsible for some portion of their suffering, but mostly cast blame towards themselves for allowing it to happen. The word most popularly used in this situation, is guilt. Guilt is another effect of pain or suffering which leads us into questioning ourselves, and our reasoning of why we are enduring such pain.

It’s been established that suffering is inevitable. No matter how much money you have, how rich or poor you are it’s something which does not discriminate. You can’t pay anyone to prevent things from happening to you. It doesn’t matter if you’re Bill Gates, things will happen which are beyond you’re control. Therefore the logical thing would be to deal with it, understand, and learn from these mini wars. In suffering the only tool which seems to work is faith. But because suffering is a natural part of life we should look at the benefits which stem from it, and learn how it will benefit us in the long run. You may ask how can suffering benefit me? Suffering can benefit us all when we establish what suffering is for each of us. Because somethings are more significant to some people than others. The death of a loved one, disease, unemployment, and homelessness can be suffering to some, while not getting a job, or being fired may be suffering to others. Suffering can be any of these situations, and there can be a benefit from all of these situations. In the story of Job, he went from having virtually everything to nothing, losing riches, family, and obtaining disease. It didn’t matter what he had or what he used to be at that time because there was nothing or no one who could help him at that time. After losing everything, job wanted to know, what now, and why. He thought he had lived a good God fearing life, and done what he was to do as a man, why is this happening to me. God wanted Job to learn the lesson of humility. In realizing that nothing he had was his, and he would have had nothing had it not been for God giving it to him. In knowing nothing was given to him because he was such a good person, but because God made it possible that he could have those things. He benefitted from his suffering by learning to be humble. After suffering, this terrible tragedy, he was obedient, and had faith and was then blessed after enduring the suffering and pain (Book 397). We often see or hear about children who come in to this world bearing incurable diseases, and some getting them after birth, all of no fault of their own. There is no reason for innocent children to suffer, however there can be a lesson learned from these situations. For the children involved, they often become very exceptional, and high spirited individuals, who teach others to have the remarkable strength they possess. Seeing a child suffer, and adjust to adversity, we can sometimes become strong through their experience, especially when the tragedy is close to home. In this day and age, our society has the “victim complex.” Everytime something bad happens to one of us, we label ourselves as victims, instead of taking a lesson away from the situation. American culture has taught us to cry out as victims, feel sorry for ourselves, and make others feel sorry for us as well. Instead of standing the pain and learning what life’s lessons has to teach us. “Everything happens for a reason,” is a quote which is often used but not lived by. Everything happens as a result of something, or so something else can happen. It’s important to learn from every situation we are apart of, and try and make the most of the trials and tribulations we must endure. Sometimes small lessons come from big problems, and vice versa. It’s just good to take something away from every suffering experience.

About seven years ago my grandfather was killed in a car accident. My grandfather was a great man, he was the sweetest man you could ever meet, and would never do anything to hurt anyone. This man was taken away from the world with no warning, and no reason. Initially when this happened I was confused and wanted to know why. In the beginning I searched myself, thinking I must have done something wrong to lose someone so close, with no warning, or maybe I could have done something to prevent his death in some way. Later on in life I realized that death is a natural occurrence, thus suffering also comes naturally. My grandfather died, and I suffered as a result of the death. I suffered, not because I did anything wrong, but because suffering comes and goes. This may have been some sort of test to see what I would do in the face of adversity. My faith was tested in this case, the suffering I experienced was the ultimate test. I passed the test, but at the same time instead of walking around angry or closing myself off from the world consumed with guilt, I appreciate the time I did spend with him, and realize there was nothing I could do to change what had happened. I learned to appreciate people at that moment, instead of putting it off until later. Also, that nothing in life is guaranteed; happiness, peace, etc…, but that you should appreciate those moments or those people who influence or shape the joys and pains in your life. In some way, shape, form, or fashion I could have learned this lesson through some other means which would not have cost so much. At the same time, because the price was so costly, the learning experience was a greater benefit for me. The lesson I learned was one which every person must at some point in life. Things are taken away as freely as they are given, and we must accept the good with the bad, and hope one day we will understand why certain things happen.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. In relation to suffering, faith is a weapon to ensure security and sanity. If when suffering, we can only think of Job, the “good honest man” who lost everything, with virtually no cause, and after an enduring battle, was blessed again, all because his faith in God and his honesty, an admitting ignorance. Everything happens for a reason, and sometimes things happen, and we don’t understand the significance. But be assure there is some, and sooner or later it will be bought to the light.

Works Cited Babineck, Mark “Dragging death defendant takes stand” Associated Press. *http://www.startext.net/news/doc/1047/1:state21/1:state21111699.html*.

Bergant, Dianne “Job: Implications for Today” Behrens, Laurence; Rosen, Leonard J. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum 7 ed. Elm Street Publishing Services, Inc. 1999.

Gomes, Peter “The Bible and Suffering” Behrens, Laurence; Rosen, Leonard J. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum 7 ed. Elm Street Publishing Services, Inc. 1999.

Hanna, Bill; Lee, Mike “Grieving Aggies wonder if the bonfire ritual will continue”Ft. Worth Star- Telegram. *http://www.startext.net/news/doc/1047/1:metro61/1:metro61111999.html*.

Kushner, Harold S. “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” Behrens, Laurence; Rosen, Leonard J. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum 7 ed. Elm Street Publishing Services, Inc. 1999.

New Webster’s Dictionary 1990 ed. P.S.I. & Associates, Inc. Miami, Florida.

Wheaton “The question of suffering is addressed” The Book of Job , Introduction. *http://ccel.wheaton.edu/contrib/exec_outlines/job/job_01.htm*.

Babineck, Mark “Dragging death defendant takes stand” Associated Press. .

Bergant, Dianne “Job: Implications for Today” Behrens, Laurence; Rosen, Leonard J. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum 7 ed. Elm Street Publishing Services, Inc. 1999.

Gomes, Peter “The Bible and Suffering” Behrens, Laurence; Rosen, Leonard J. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum 7 ed. Elm Street Publishing Services, Inc. 1999.

Hanna, Bill; Lee, Mike “Grieving Aggies wonder if the bonfire ritual will continue”Ft. Worth Star- Telegram. .

Kushner, Harold S. “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” Behrens, Laurence; Rosen, Leonard J. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum 7 ed. Elm Street Publishing Services, Inc. 1999.

New Webster’s Dictionary 1990 ed. P.S.I. & Associates, Inc. Miami, Florida.

Wheaton “The question of suffering is addressed” The Book of Job , Introduction. .