There is so much sadness and suffering in the world, and anyone who believes in God and defines it as the Source of Pure Intelligence and Perfect Love would have to ask: Why?

Why in the world would God place sadness and suffering in the world? And what tools, if any, has God given us with which to deal with sadness and suffering when we encounter it (as surely we will during our life)?

The answer, as I have come to understand it, is that God has not deliberately placed sadness nor inserted suffering into our world, we have brought it into our experience of our own free will.

This is difficult to believe or embrace, I know, and so it requires a little exploration and explanation.

Sadness and suffering are responses, both emotional and physical, to particular situations, circumstances, and events that manifest or occur during our lives.

FOCUS: The Nature of God and Life/an exploration of critical importance in our time

Because they are responses and not events in themselves, they are entirely within our control. Because they are entirely within our control they are created by us, not foisted upon us.

There are some who have said that God has imposed sadness and suffering upon us as a punishment for our so-called evil deeds. Yet my understanding is that sadness and suffering are not punishments, they are consequences. And consequences of what? They are consequences of our thinking.

Thinking is the tool that God has given us with which to deal with life events and circumstances, situations and occurrences. Yet why do events and circumstances, situations and occurrences that ordinarily might be reasonably expected to produce sadness and suffering within human beings even have to arise?

Ah, that is an even larger question — and on humanity’s answer to that question hinges the future of the entire human species. We will explore that question in the upcoming entries in this series. But for now, let us go about this investigation step by step. Let us look at this business of our thinking, and the role it plays in bringing sadness and suffering into our experience. We’ll take that first step in Part V of our series here.

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