In all of recorded history, people generally have not questioned God for allowing bad thing to happen. They might cry out to him, but largely they did not question his integrity for allowing evil to exist.
It is only in the last few hundred years that this “problem of evil” has been a topic of conversation. What is a most interesting parallel is that these last few hundred years have also been our richest.
It is as if we have allowed ourselves to believe that we deserve a certain level of comfort in this life.
But as I see it, there are three benefits that cannot be gained from worldly comfort. Three good things that come out of suffering.
1. God’s Comfort. There is nothing wrong with being rich. But when we make it a priority over God, we tend to believe that it will bring us comfort. When we do this, we do not leave room for God’s comfort. But God’s comfort doesn’t fail. God’s comfort is better.
2. Maturity. In Romans 5, Paul writes that we should “rejoice in our sufferings.” This seems a bit extreme. But he goes on to explain that “suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” Hard times are not always bad times.
3. Empathy. Sympathy is when I try to imagine another’s pain. Empathy is when I’ve actually experienced it. People who can have empathy for others are far more effective at making a difference.
Sometimes we forget that God is in control, and sometimes we forget that God loves us (and demonstrated it) in a way that trumps even our best days. John 3:16.