The indication is God allows and uses pain and suffering for a greater purpose and that our focus should be "eternal," not just what's happening in the "here and now."
Give some thought to the following observations:
· Individuals are sometimes most prone to turning to God for help when they are in a time of great need. Christ Tiegreen, the author of "Why a Suffering World Makes Sense" expressed the matter this way:
God wants to be known and loved in all His characteristics, of which forgiveness and deliverance are two of His core characteristics / attributes. Without the context of a world in need with hurting people, this would be difficult for us to comprehend. We can't know God as a Forgiver, unless someone is in need of forgiveness. We can't know God as a Deliverer, unless someone is captive and needs freed. The only way to know Him deeply is in the midst of pain and suffering.
· The damage caused by the disease of leprosy is due to the total lack of any sensation of pain. Thus any burning, freezing or scraping of skin continues because the individual does not realize what's actually happening. In the case of the leper, no pain means no response.
· Individuals are often dramatically changed as a result of suffering or a painful experience. Often a certain maturing or growth takes place. And when asked if they had the choice, would they have bypassed the suffering and pain, most answer no, because of what the experience had accomplished in them as individuals.
· Consider the discipline of a child by a parent. Sometimes it involves a little pain and suffering, but it is done out of love, for the benefit of the child, in order to motivate it to make better choices!
· A focus on pain, suffering and death that all tragically affect this life often results in the individual missing a greater point. All of us will die. Some may be able to somewhat affect the circumstances of their death, but for others it will be totally beyond their ability to control, affect or prepare for. What concerns God and should concern each of us is what lies beyond this life. Most religions teach about an after-life and how to obtain it. The choice God presents in His Word is heaven / eternal life for those who accept His gift of salvation or hell / eternal suffering for those who reject it. Thus, God has provided an eternal solution to pain, suffering and evil, that extends beyond the confines of this life.