Does God cause us to suffer?
From Morning Prayer (Lauds): Judith 8:25-26,27
“Let us give thanks to the Lord our God who, as he tested our ancestors, is now testing us. Remember how he treated Abraham, all the ordeals of Isaac and all that happened to Jacob. For as these ordeals were intended by him to search their hearts, so now this is not vengeance that God exacts against us, but a warning inflicted by the Lord on those who are near his heart.”
The short answer: No, I do not believe God inflicts pain or suffering. But pain and suffering are inevitable in this life. And God absolutely uses those experiences, if we allow Her, to “search our hearts,” to strengthen us, to embolden us and draw us closer to Him and to all Creation.
When we open ourselves to this work, we sanctify our suffering for the glory of God and Her Kingdom.
Most gracious God, give us the strength, courage and humility to sacrifice our suffering to you, to sanctify it and allow you to work through it to bring us closer to You and Your Creation. Amen.