How could God allow this to happen? Where was God? Why didn’t he stop this? How do we reconcile the idea of a “good” God with the suffering and misery of life in this world?
This is a question that has occupied Christians for as long as there have been Christians, and we’re able to talk about the abstract theology in very clear and cogent categories. C. S. Lewis wrote in A Grief Observed,
We were promised sufferings. They were part of the program. We were even told, “Blessed are they that mourn,” and I accept it. I’ve got nothing that I hadn’t bargained for. Of course, it is different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others; and in reality, not imagination.
How are we to understand the existence of evil, of suffering, when we believe that God is good? Paul grounds us, not in abstract thoughts about Jesus (helpful though they might be at other times), but in our relationship with the Person who loved his people enough to suffer for them.