Should We Ask God to Spare Us From Suffering?

friday_15“If suffering is the sign of our election by God, why do we then pray to be spared from suffering and to have a painless and peaceful end? It is the same with temptations: in the Lord’s Prayer, we entreat God not to be led into temptation, but the Holy Apostle James says that when we fall into temptation we should consider it a joy, because we have a chance to prove our fidelity to God (cf. Jas. 1:2, 12). In temptations and sufferings, it is not we who make the plans, we do not choose our cross, but we accept the cross that the all-wise Providence of God allows in our life. God knows how big or small a cross we need. He will give us just that cross which is absolutely right and necessary for us to be disentangled from all our attachments in this transitory life, and to run after Christ with a free heart. Consequently, it is not we who choose; divine providence sets the plan for our life. Of course, we pray to be spared from suffering and to have a peaceful and painless end, because we do not know if we will be able to bear suffering or whether we will become fainthearted. As with temptations, we pray to be spared from afflictions, but if they come, then, in the strength of God’s Spirit, we will bear them. Many people arrogantly choose their cross, and they become fainthearted and fall. We remember how the Great and Holy Apostle Peter learned his lesson. If we are faithful in that which is little and we bear it, strength will be added to us to help us bear that which is much and be even more faithful to God.” – Fr Zacharius (Zacharou); Hidden Man of the Heart