QDoes the Lord create our suffering?
aThe Lord is Love. God loves all people. He wants us to become actual receptacles of His love and wisdom in order to be happy. Being Love Itself, He cannot be the source of our sufferings. He grants us two abilities that make us spiritual beings: rationality and freedom. Rationality is the ability to understand what is true and what is good; and freedom is the ability to do what is true and good (see Divine Love and Wisdom 240). Suffering comes from people abusing these faculties, which causes our pain and unfortunately it often causes pain to those caught in the wake.
QIs God more present in some people's lives more than He is in others?
aThe Lord is present with each individual. He is with all of us, no matter our situation, leading us. “He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). We are all created to be responsive receptacles of the Lord’s love and truth. According to our spiritual state, wherever we are in our lives, it may feel like the Lord is more or less present with us. But the more we turn to Him and obey His Word, the more He will feel present within us. Otherwise, we will feel less presence of the Lord in us.
QWhy can't life be happy all the time?
aLife cannot be happy all the time because we are each on a spiritual journey. So, the Lord permits us to undergo trials. The reason we often face trials, or temptations, is that it helps strengthen us. Temptation is not meant to make us sin – it is meant to make it possible for us not to sin. It is not meant to make us bad – it is meant to make us good. It is not meant to weaken us – it is meant to make us stronger, finer, and purer. Trials or temptations help us shun evils and falsities in order to make room for God's goodness and His truth within us. So “all the conjunction of good with truth is effected through temptations” (Secrets of Heaven 4341).
Hear my prayer, LORD;
let my cry for help come to you.
Do not hide your face from me
when I am in distress.
Turn your ear to me;
when I call, answer me quickly.
(Psalm 102: 1-2)
Rev. Sylvain Agnes serves as pastor of Boby New Church in Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire) and as Principal of The New Jerusalem Theological Institute in Abidjan.