• I know this won't fully answer your question, but nonetheless highly related:

    "Grant me O my God to pity myself, for You were innocent as You carried the burden of the cross, whereas I without a cross am oppressed by the burden of my sins. St John Chrysostom said, “For what reason did Jesus will that Simon of Cyrene help Him carry the cross, though He had borne the torture and the pain alone? The Saviour wished to make us understand that without our own cross, His holy cross was not sufficient. If we seek salvation, we ought to follow Christ carrying the cross with patience and submission to His divine will, following our divine Teacher to death.”

    St Augustine said, “This short life is a tribulation”, and “If you say you have not yet suffered anything, then you have not begun to be a Christian.”

    The Christian who seeks to become too comfortable in this life will not follow Christ bearing his cross.

    To each of the two thieves crucified with the Saviour, belonged a cross. The wicked one wished only to be freed from his cross, but it would not leave him and followed him into hell. The thief on the right, however, endured his cross carrying it for a few short hours leaving it behind as he entered paradise.

    We ought not then ask of God that He lift His cross from us, whenever we are engulfed by misfortune, but rather we should endure patiently being comforted by the words of St Paul, “if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together,” (Rom 8:17)."
  • edited April 2015

    No. I wouldn't phrase it this way at all. Be careful.

    You quote Romans 8:17, but that says: 

    Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

    How do we share in God's sufferings? That is to suffer for being Righteous, for our faith. 

    Sure - these tribulations are what we should not escape from. Indeed, such as our brave 21 Coptic Men who died in Libya, and the millions before them who died as witnesses to Christ.

    However, I think the Original poster is talking about general life's hardships or injustices.

    I think the Biblical quote that is needed here is this (ROMANS 8:28)

    And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

    So, even if bad things happen, things work out for you at the end for those who love the Lord. 

    That verse perhaps is more suited for people who have misfortunes. Dying for the sake of Christ is NOT a misfortune. Who is even worthy to be put into that position? 

    There are some very evil people out there, and they can do bad things to you. I still believe that witnessing or expecting to see God's justice in such situations is vital. Not that we ought to see lightening and thunder all at once, and God's Wrath coming down and destroying everyone who's upset us. No. But we need to feel He is there in our times of tribulation.

    And the verse that does pop up in mind is this:

    In PSALM 46:10 He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

  • Also, I want to say that God is not always the cause of hardships. The way some people word or give Bible quotes is that God loves you to suffer, and that suffering makes you better. 

    That suffering could drive you mentally insane. And what could put you really in the madhouse is believing that whilst you are suffering, God is the cause of this.

    St James teaches us against such things, and at the same time, by the way, he answers your questions:


  • Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

    Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation – since they will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.

    12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

    13 When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

  • My post was a quote from the book crucified Jesus written by Fr Manasseh Youhanna. I do not see what is wrong with the passage. I am aware that my post was not directly answering the question, I had mentioned that to be the case, I however thought it to be a nice reflection as hardships and tribulations can be seen to be the cross we must carry.
  • Also, to add on to what zoxasi said, here's a another nice story, that you may already know:

    One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
    Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
    In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
    Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
    other times there were one set of footprints.
    This bothered me because I noticed
    that during the low periods of my life,
    when I was suffering from
    anguish, sorrow or defeat,
    I could see only one set of footprints.
    So I said to the Lord,
    "You promised me Lord,
    that if I followed you,
    you would walk with me always.
    But I have noticed that during
    the most trying periods of my life
    there have only been one
    set of footprints in the sand.
    Why, when I needed you most,
    you have not been there for me?"

    The Lord replied,
    "The times when you have
    seen only one set of footprints,
    is when I carried you."
  • edited April 2015

    Hello ,

    I think we need to understand James Chapter well. 

    Its a very interesting situation. I've heard Coptic Priests talk about the beauty of suffering, and as if its some kind of God-Given event that is meant to "purify" you. Copts tend to look at this as if they are Job, and God is testing them to purify them. Perhaps God is testing us?? 

    I think its best to focus on St James. He talks about tribulations and God "testing" us. 

    If I suffer tremendously, and I put in my mind that God is testing me to purify me, TRUST ME - I WILL HATE GOD. I will hate Him. My mind will be broken: I will not know whether I should pray to get out of my suffering, or pray that God keeps me suffering if its His Will. This is absolutely absurd!!!!

    I can assure you, I will not only hate Him, but I'll hate the people who tell me that my misery is coming from God because its for my own good. You don't want that? Do you???

    I think we need time to reflect on the book of St James. 

    Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance

    OK - so we see that here, St James acknowledges that we have hardships. He's saying that we should consider it a joy that our faith is being tested, because through testing our faith, we grow in patience. Any hardship. 

    Is this hardship from God???? No. Its not. It cannot be. He's just saying that there is a positive element in hardship - and that positive element is the strengthening of our patience and faith. Let's take an example. I'm suffering tremendously. Is God making me suffer? No. But if I put in my heart that I act righteously, WITHOUT anger, in such suffering, then I will grow in faith and patience. 

    God can allow these things to happen knowing that I will benefit from them. But it is folly to think He is causing that suffering.

    Then St James says (to confirm what I've said:): 

    Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

    And then he adds:

    13 When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 

  • But then again, what do I know?? Maybe its me. Tell me that God is causing me this suffering in my life, and I will seriously wonder what kind of God we have?? There are some sufferings that can drive you mentally insane. if this is from God, then for my own personal safety, and the safety of others, I prefer not to know this God.
  • Basically, to answer the question as to why God stays silent in Hardships: 

    Who said He is silent? But in hardships, if you are suffering: scream out to Him and say: "Lord have mercy on me, a sinner". 

    As I mentioned - God isn't causing you this suffering, but He is there to heal you, if you ask Him to heal to you. You seem to be asking God for revenge. If you keep on doing that, God will definitely be silent.

  • Because the teacher always stays silent during the test. 

    God bless +
  • See. This is worrying that people think God is testing them. ok - what if I fail the test and I go off and slaughter 100 people because my tribulation was unbeatable. Would Christians say : 'oh. It's a shame he failed the test. So many innocent people died because zoxsasi didn't pass his annual tribulation exam this year.

    Do you have any idea how much suffering one person can take before they go mentally insane??
  • It is not a test of success, it is a test of faith. 

    God bless +
  • girl4God said:

    It is not a test of success, it is a test of faith. 

    God bless +
    Yeah, so what if I fail my test of faith, and I end up not only doubting in God, but doing something horrendously evil. So that means God would have put me in a test for no reason. I could end up going mad.

    Look, I met this Coptic lady whose son died early. He was married with 2 kids. She was saying to herself: "Why is God testing me"? God isn't testing anyone. bad things happen. 

    If God is truly testing me, and as a result of this test, I SIN, I fall into a sin, then we could argue that because of God's test, I sinned. So God led me into sin??? 


  • edited April 2015
    I think the following:

    Hardships happen. We can ask for God's Grace to handle them. To think that God is putting us in these hardships for some benefit is ludicrous. St James tells us to rejoice and be happy when we have some sort of hardships because the out come of this is patience. We grow in patience (hopefully). At least, let's put it this way: We ought to be praying that God helps us become more patient during these hardships. 

    The fruit of such hardships COULD be patience. It could be anything. I think its best to seek God during such hardships and ask for His mercy in strengthening you. But to be praying THINKING that He is causing them is ludicrous. We are just interested in the fruits or positive things in this. God can change evil events into good fruits for us. It doesn't mean that HE Himself engineered a bad or evil event to make us "better". That's just INSANE!!!!

    As a father, I want to teach my kid how to swim: I throw the little 2 year old in the water. I tell him: "Move your hands.. keep your head up!! LISTEN TO ME and you'll be fine". The kid almost drowns. He tells me: "Dad-  why did you throw me in the water for?" - I tell him: "i wanted to teach you how to swim". 

    He will one day learn how to swim, but to think this method of teaching someone is in any way responsible or sane, is LUDICROUS! 

    If by chance, my kid falls into a lake, and he finally comes out OK from it, its a good basis for him to learn how to swim. When we take swimming lessons, he'll understand that he needs to really learn the moves to keep afloat. So in the latter scenario - my son and I are both friends and he's benefitted from a bad experience. From the former scenario - my son will think i'm a madman. He will not trust me again. And I'm sure he will not want to learn anything from me afterwards.
  • Let me add by saying that the fruit of hardships, through God's Grace is at the very least patience. That's true. But knowing God's personality, He is ABLE to change any bad situation into a good one. We even say during the liturgy: "You changed my punishment into my salvation". 

    Was he the cause of my punishment. Did God tell Adam & Eve: If you eat from this tree, I will kill you? Or did He say: "If you eat, you will surely die?". Believe it or not, there's a difference.

    Bad things happen in life, but God is able to change them around for our benefit. 

    What you should be praying during ANY hardships is to ask God to change these bad events into events that Give Glory to Him. 

    PRAYER 1: "Lord, I'm suffering  because of such and such situation. Its killing me; But I know that you, being eternally good, can not only change this around for my benefit, but I beg you to bring goodness out of this evil situation for the Glory of Your Holy Name".

    I highly recommend the above prayer. 

    The alternative to what is being suggested by these posters is the following: 

    PRAYER 2: "Lord, you have allowed me to suffer, and brought me into this miserable situation because you think its for my benefit. Please Lord continue to make my life miserable so I can learn something from it".

    GOD IS NOT THE CAUSE OF YOUR MISERY!! Just pray that He changes it to an event that results in Him being Glorified and Exalted!!! I don't beat my son if He doesn't eat. When finishes his plate, he tells me: "Thanks dad, I really needed a broken nose to learn how to finish my plate". You are assuming God behaves this way. This is totally insane!!! 
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