Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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I have experienced great sorrow and pain lately having lost my father to cancer after months of extreme suffering and agony. My mother was also diagnosed with cancer and is suffering through her treatments. My siblings are not handling the situation well, my fiancé has family issues, and I am left to console everyone. I no longer pray for anyone or anything because I feel that by leaving things in God's hands, He will do what he wants to anyway, whether I like it or not, whether it hurts me or not; so what's the point of praying and hoping for some outcome, after saying "Thy Will Be Done?" I have read the book of Job in the Holy Bible, and I was struck by the identical words that he spoke in the midst of his grief, to what I have been saying. The only difference was, he's righteous and I am not, but that is why God has given the sacrament of repentance and confession.  

After confessing and repenting to everything and anything that I may or may not have done, I still keep sinking in my sorrows, and cry out with Job saying, "Why did I not die at birth? … Where is God when I need Him … Why did He allow all this?" I still do not know what God told Job to console him and grant him His peace. I do not understand what I am supposed to learn from Job. Job was not so kind as to write it in his own biography what he heard or experienced that consoled him to say "Lord, I have heard of you by my ears, but now my eyes see You!" What consolation am I looking for because it sure feels like the world has tumbled on me. What is the point of loving anyone, if at the end it will cause pain and anxiety as a result of death?

"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world (John 16:33).

Only God knows your pain. Only Christ can understand your deepest feelings of anguish, loneliness, desperation, and sadness. Yet, despite any and all tribulations, He commands us to have joy and promises us peace in Him. It is a strange paradox, but such is the life of Christians. No doubt, each day brings an assortment of challenges. Each challenge and attack from the devil is just an attempt to weaken the spirit and push the person to despair. Here is an equation for you: challenge + decision = outcome. The challenge may come as an attack from the devil; or may be a test of faith from God. The decision is yours. You can choose faith, trust, patience, or any other virtue; or you can choose pity, worry, anxiety, or any other vice. Although the challenge is out of your hands, your decision will determine the outcome. Christ lived as a man of affliction throughout His life for our sakes. Thus, be assured of His benevolence and desire to share in your every burden. Keep your eyes on Him, and with a thankful heart, place all your cares in His hands. Live each day to the fullest, no matter what it may bring. Submit to His will, and you will surely find peace. Continue to build, to love, to care, to serve, and to pray. Be of good cheer, He has overcome the world.
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