How do Orthodox Jews cope with pain and personal life difficulties?
I actually don’t think Orthodox Jews have a monopoly on the idea of how to cope. I think most people who believe in a G-d that is all encompassing, find the strength to live with difficulties, personal life difficulties and more. I don’t know how non-religious deal with pain – without G-d, it seems senseless and painful.
First, of all, G-d never promised an easy life. In fact, it is said someone who goes through life with no problems is unloved by G-d. It is the same of a child who never gets disciplined, given rules or shown boundaries – that is not a loved child. G-d is like a father. The pain is here to guide us, make us grow. Diamonds only become worthwhile through a lot of friction.
Second, we don’t look at this life as the end of all life, there is an after-life; which is essentially much longer and is where we will understand all that we needed to go through in this life.
Third, G-d knows everything, and we only see glimpses. Just like a person walking into a dress rehearsal at the end of the last scene in the 2nd act; he has no idea what happened in Act 1, all the other scenes in Act 2, nor doesn’t know what will happen in Act 3. How can he judge if what he saw was fair? right? We believe that G-d is only good. Thus if we see something is bad, we have to realize that we just don’t know Act 1 or 3.
So how do we deal with bad news? Prayer, which is asking G-d to give us clarity and comfort. Get more involved with Mitzvot (the commandments), Hessed (doing kindness), tzadakah (charity) and examining ourselves and finding where we can improve ourselves.
Because it is all about growing and becoming a better person.