Because suffering plays such a vital role in God’s destiny for us, we can’t just sweep it under the rug. It’s tremendously helpful not only to understand suffering, but to embrace it as well. God wants us to experience joy and fulfillment, and even lots of pleasure as we live our lives for Him. But He did not create us for earthly happiness alone, no matter how bountiful life here might turn out to be.
It doesn’t matter what wealth or prestige we gain in life, or even how wonderful our relationships might be. Mature Christians know that none of this holds a candle to what we’ve really been designed for. None of us are exempt from the challenges and hardships that inevitably come our way. Trials are common to all believers. But it’s certainly not due to lack of interest on God’s part. Just the opposite, actually: He allows suffering because He deeply cares about us.