We are born into an imperfect world. That condition is sometimes uncomfortable and challenging for us. Why did God put us in a world where we have to make so many difficult choices? Why couldn’t we live in our own pleasure bubble? Things would be so much easier for us in a perfect world. We could be programed somewhat like robots and always choose to be loving. In this imperfect world we have the freedom to choose the path we take. We make mistakes. We have to make choices with the freedom that has been given to us. We have the choice to be loving or to be unloving. Our choices to be unloving can bring suffering to other people. But we needed to be created with the option to choose to be unloving so that when we choose to be loving, that choice belongs to us. That choice is ours because we are created in the image of God. Our love cannot come from us if we do not have the choice to choose love.
Why does God allow good people to suffer? There are some things worse than suffering that can lead us to emptiness and separate us from God. Love comes from God. Without choosing love, we would not have the compassion to serve other people. Compassion makes our hearts come alive. It shocks us out of our superficiality. Suffering allows us to deepen our faith. It is an opportunity to grow in courage, to find out what we are made of, to grow close to God and seek him for answers. Suffering allows us to know if we have compassion within us, both to give and to receive.
It is not a travesty to suffer. Suffering is one of the greatest opportunities given to us. If we were not given the opportunity to suffer, our faith would not be as strong; we would not experience the deep joy of knowing Christ. Through suffering we are drawn to God, we can be filled with the Holy Spirit and be given the happiness and courage that only God can provide. We are called to an eternal life. If we get our self-centered ego out of the way, we can experience the presence of God and perfect joy.
A perfect world is overestimated if you are being given eternal life. God does not cause suffering, but like a parent, he has to let us make our decisions, and own our choices no matter how imperfect they may be while we are on this earth. God has a plan to transform us into his unconditional love.
Magis Center of Reason and Faith, Father Spitzer, Why Suffering?