The circular reasoning of suffering
Well, I don't claim to have it all figured out now. If I did I think I would be entitled to a lot of money. But I don't. What I do understand now is this little bit: that suffering, for reasons only barely comprehensible to me, is part of God's eternal plan. When He created this earth, He was not taken aback by what became of it. He created it knowing full well all that would transpire, and with the full intention of revealing Himself as a God who is Himself willing to suffer for and alongside His creatures. God sent His Son to be "the first-born among many brethren" (Romans 8:29). In Christ, our purpose in creation is fulfilled - if indeed we suffer with Him (Romans 8:7). God intends to have many sons who, like Christ, reflect the image of God as the God who sacrifices Himself. God is interested in seeing this unique characteristic of His glory reflected in those of us who are truly created in His image and after His likeness. God is creating a people of Christ-like character. He is adopting people of every race and tongue and transforming them into sons of God.