From Here to Eternity
I never like when a preacher says, "God was there" right after naming a horrific event or time in someones life, but then not following that statement with something that explains why God didn't help right then. God was there, just watching? Really? That's not comforting pastor. That doen't make me want to know God, it actually makes God sound really awful.
Most people really don't understand how God works, who He is, how everything going on now will be made right in eternity and how could they? It's complicated and to not say so is a disservice.
I don't know why God allows such suffering in the world. I wish I had the answer to that question for you, but what I do know is He is comfort, He is light, He is love.
It sounds ridiculous to say that one day, all of the pain and suffering of this world will be made right, we can't understand that, I don't understand that, 1 Corinthians say that we see through a glass darkly, one day we will see Him face to face and the bible also says He will wipe away all of the tears from our eyes. Sin has been defeated so therefore, pain, grief, hatred, jealously, pride, greed, gluttony, all of those things that hurt us so deeply now, have ultimately been defeated. It's like we know the end of the movie already, we win, love wins. He will wipe away the tears that sin has caused each and every one of us. In this life He can take the very worst situation, and turn it to good, He's God, it's not magic, it's His way of defeating sin every day in the world.
When you see a smiling happy child living in the slums on a cardboard box with no shoes on, you are seeing the face of Christ. That joy on the child's face should not be there by our understanding but it is, why does that child feel joy? Because God is joy.
But also when you meet that sad child, laying over his dead mothers body, weeping from the grief of losing his only parent, you are also looking at the face of Christ, He feels our pain because He took it onto himself and that is how he defeated it for eternity.
Today is eternity, yesterday is eternity, tomorrow is eternity, forever is eternity. Which doesn't make sense now, but one day it will.
Recommended reading: The Great Divorce by CS Lewis