How do you feel about the concept God suffers with you?

United States
March 27, 2008 9:29pm CST
When we suffer, we ask a lot of questions. Chief to these is the way we seek answers about our suffering in the light of God's existence. If God is good and wise, why is there evil and suffering? If God wants the best for us, then why is there evil, suffering and even death - experiences which slam us into the walls of senselessness. And we never stop asking questions. Recently, there are some who propose that we cannot ever hope to justify the misery we suffer by saying that God permits it or is responsible for it. Instead, many theologians have sought to meet the painful sufferings of humankind with the co-suffering of God. Alfred North Whitehead once said, "God is the great companion - the fellow sufferer who understands."And Elizabeht Johnson tells, "the traditional model of God as king and ruler, gifted with attributes of omnipotence and ominscience - this monarchical model is less and less seriously imaginable" in Christian theology. Moltmann is even more articulate in asserting this concept. He says "a God who sits enthroned in heaven in a glory no one can share is unacceptable even for theology. Equally so, a grief which only affects man externally and does not seize him and change him in his very person does not do it justice. But in that case, must not Christian theology take up once again the old teopaschite question, 'Did God himself suffer.'" And so, taking cue from the suffering Jesus himself suffered in Golgotha, there is really a sense in trying to grapple with the mystery of God not as a ruler but as a CO-SUFFERER with humanity. God suffers when we suffer. God shares the pain of our agonies. When relationships break, God is also left broken. When things does not go well, God suffers that too. He feels pain as much as we do. Jesus did, and so does God. Novelist Elie Wiesel perhaps captures the point in his novel Der Nacht (the Night) recalling the horror of Holocaust. He recalls, "The SS hung two Jewish men and a boy before the assembled inhabitants of the camp. The men died quickly but the death of the boy lasted half an hour. 'Where is God? Where is He?' a man behind me asked. As the boy, after a long time, was still in agony on the rope, the man cried again, 'Where is God now?' and I heard a voice within me answer;"HE IS HERE - HE IS HANGING HERE IN THE GALLOWS." What do you think of this concept. Is this of any help to people? Is this of any help to religion too?
3 people like this
2 responses
@cdparazo (5769)
• Philippines
28 Mar 08
All i believe is that we are suffering because its the consequences of our own decisions, choices and sins. It's not a question of God allowing it or not because there is the concept of free will. God cannot will us to choose the correct path as he has laid out for us. A lot of us choose the other way around and blame God for our suffering and questions his love. God has given us enough grace to be happy and successful and be the best persons that we can be. Even if we don't listen to him and follow his will, he still gives us the grace to survive through the ordeal of our own making. It's really simple, we follow God's will and not suffer or not follow it and suffer.
• United States
28 Mar 08
Yes, I agree. What what do you think about the idea that because God loves us, as we love our fellows, he suffers too when we suffer? I mean, look at us, when our loved ones suffer, we feel the pain that they suffer, even when it's not ours. That's compassion. If we as human feel compassion as a way to 'suffer with' our loved ones, is not God the supreme 'compassionate' being who in a strong sense also feels the torment we feel - all because he participates and loves us no matter what? What do you think?
1 person likes this
@cdparazo (5769)
• Philippines
29 Mar 08
There is no doubt about it that God also suffers with us. He doesn't want to see us suffer and is giving all that we need for us to choose the path that he wants us to take inorder not to suffer. But human as we are, we tend to abuse what we God has given us and most of the time chooses the road to perdition.
@deebomb (15323)
• United States
28 Mar 08
This is the very reason that Jesus came to the earth as a man. He suffered while he was healing people. He has been through every thing that any of us go through. He is right there suffering with us. Jesus is the Shepard that went looking for the single lost sheep. He does this today. I think he suffers when ever we blame him for those things that Satan does to us.