This is a deep mystery. It would be foolish to think there is a one-line answer. An important element in my response to the question is that the cross of Christ was God’s participation in the suffering of creation. The Christian God is not just a benevolent spectator on the outside; he is a fellow sufferer who understands suffering.
Just as the cross of Christ seems to be the worst thing that could happen, yet turns into the joy and victory of the Resurrection, so somehow there will be a healing of wounds and restoration. But these are deep mysteries, and suffering is a question to be approached with awe and respect.
The question of God seemingly allowing suffering is the biggest obstacle to faith for believers and non-believers alike. It troubles us more than any other difficulty. It is right that it should.
HT to a reader for this article