Covid Pain and Suffering Boosted Faith

So many people deny the existence of God because they think a loving God would never allow pain and suffering in the world. First of all, physical pain is usually a good thing. Without it, your health would go to pot. Think of the times you twisted your ankle, cut your finger, or fractured your arm. You experienced pain. Would you have preferred that there was no pain? Were that the case, you wouldn’t have kept your weight off your ankle or put a Band-Aid on your finger, and may not have even noticed the fracture. That would have been bad for your injuries. The pain incentivized you to treat them. Pain is simply a means of communication – your body’s way of telling you something is wrong and needs to be fixed. God set it up that way on purpose. He’s not a cruel God for doing so. It’s for your own good.

God also allows pain because it prompts people to turn toward Him. Most of those rejecting God because of all the pain and suffering in the world probably haven’t experienced much of that pain and suffering themselves. Maybe if they dug a little deeper they would find that in many if not most cases, the actual victims turn toward God as a result of their misfortune. That’s one reason why God allows bad things to happen.

September 11, 2001 was a prime example. Churches were filled to capacity after those terrorist attacks. Another example is Covid. A Pew poll showed that a quarter of Americans’ faith grew stronger during the pandemic. It weakened among only 2 percent of them. The same thing happened elsewhere. In Poland, one-fifth of survey respondents said they prayed and worshiped more often compared to before the pandemic. And among those who previously practiced their faith several times a week, 61 percent did so even more during Covid. Crossroads, the newsletter of the Duke University Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health, commented that this “does help to support the claim that religiosity increases during times of stress.”

In atheists’ and agnostics’ worldview, shouldn’t the Covid pandemic have resulted in less faith and prayer, based on the erroneous reasoning that its hardships should prompt a person to conclude there must be no God? They’d best revise their thinking.

 

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