Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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I am an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian and I have a question on the sufferings that God puts us through. Though I am just 20 year old, and have much to go through in life (God willing), I am suffering from some phases in my life now. The thing is - there is so much anger in me with the question "why this happened," etc. that I can't have any mature sense of peace and self-security. I have a terrible amount of anger directed at God, for I ask myself why God never helped me with my problems. I sometimes sink into a state that cannot hope and that cannot see any light out of this problem. Please Abba, advise me on what to do. Why does God do this to His children, if he really calls us His children?

If it had not been that God was with you and continues to remain with you, all that you have been through, and will go through, would be unbearable. The worst part is feeling far away from God. His love does not change and is not conditional on how much you love Him or are angry with Him. In the Parable of the Lost Son (Luke 15), the father never demonstrated any degree of anger, revenge, or alienation because of his son. Rather, he hoped and waited for his son's return. I am not saying that the negative experiences that you may have encountered are your entire fault, but they are certainly not God's faults. I want you to see that the unwavering aspect of our Father's love is incomprehensible. St. John Climacus reminds us, "'God is love' (I John 4:16). But someone eager to define this is blindly striving to measure the sand in the ocean." Everyone on earth will endure some degree of pain. Life on earth has its thorns because it was never intended to be a utopia. When we go through tests of fire, we ought to remember the three youth friends of Daniel the Prophet, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. To the amazement of the unbelieving king, even he recognized (the pre-incarnate) Christ amongst the afflicted: "I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God" (Daniel 3:25). Sometimes it is hard for our senses to see, hear, and feel God amongst us through the chaos and clutter in our spiritual lives. If and when this happens to you, you need to reconnect immediately with the church and with your spiritual guide and then dedicate more time reacquainting yourself with God again, through prayer, readings of the Holy Scripture and other spiritual literature, Confession, attendance at the Divine Liturgies, and partaking of the Holy Eucharist. Do not give up and do not lose hope, for if you do, you fall prey into the deceiver's hand.

"Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled" (Psalm 6:2).
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