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Article 15

So, why does God allow any person to suffer? Is it because He realises that for many people, it is the only time that they will ever give Him a second thought, and it is only then that that person will be drawn closer to Him, when all else has failed? Well, that maybe so in some cases, but that notion is probably cold comfort to those who are really suffering with a serious, permanent illness or disability and it is suggestive and presumptuous of the idea that they have disregarded any or all other attempts by the Lord to get their attention, when in fact just the opposite may have been the case. We all suffer, mentally, physically, spiritually, and yes, some suffer and endure more than others, but let`s try and be objective about our own and other`s suffering rather than be subjective or over moralistic or finger-pointingly self righteous by associating a person`s suffering with it being a form of divine punishment . Let`s remember what Jesus Christ had to say about the things that happen to people, we can find it in  Luke 13: 1-5. `There were present at that season some that told Him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said to them, Do you think that these Galilaeans were sinners who sinned more than all other Galilaeans because they suffered such things? I tell you, no, but except that you repent, you shall all likewise perish. And what about those eighteen who perished when the tower in Siloam fell and slew them, do you think that they were sinners whose sins were worse than all other sinners that lived in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you shall all likewise perish.`  We should have an empathy toward each other`s suffering, and unless we have suffered ourselves then this is not possible. Of course anybody can have sympathy for another person`s predicament, but more often than not this lacks depth of understanding and cannot provide real hope of an acceptable outcome. It is an inescapable fact that when the misery of grief, or pain and /or illness fills our everyday lives, that for most of us, it will dominate and suppress all normal drive and thinking and even love, instead, in their place may come self-pity, bitterness, anger and hatred. And these self destructive feelings, when not directed inwards toward the sufferer themselves, are often directed outwards toward fellow men and family but more often than not they are directed toward the only One who can ever really heal and help any of us, they are directed (however inadvertently) towards the Lord God. With suffering usually comes the (for humans) unanswerable question of `why me?` which, more often than not, is then followed by the feeling of being `hard done by` and of unfairness and this in turn begins to generate an overall hatred of life itself and then by extension, a hatred of the very Creator of life. (Although in atheists this hatred can be transferred to the `sufferer`s` parents as they are perceived as the `creators`)  Sometimes (and by no means always) there can be an inherent feeling of guilt and of being punished for whatever wrong that a suffering person might have committed, either recently or somewhere in their past, and the easiest way for a lot of people to deal with this guilty feeling is `guilt transfer`, and as always, the easiest `person` to blame is the Lord God.  Now I`m not trying to suggest for one minute that any true Christian will start to blame the Lord,  the moment that tragedy in any way shape or form strikes them, but the tendency for the everyday `Christian` is to firstly go to their doctor for help and then when that does not achieve the desired result, they will then think to pay a visit to their minister or priest and see what they can `do` for them either through `second hand`