Here we are on this earth that is full of pain and sorrow (as well as the good bits). Why would God do that to us?
We are provided with the opportunity to grow and mature (into Christ who is the head).
If everything was wonderful, without any troubles, we would pass on our way quite nonchalantly to our deaths, never realising of the amazing life that we were meant for, and are capable of achieving. Never to experience true freedom, love, joy, peace.
The world sees success as how good a job you get, and how much money it can bring. Also in terms of successful marriages and happy grandchildren. And these things, especially the latter, certainly have their place.
But this is not the designed intention of life. Through trouble we are forced to confront our situations, to wonder why and how we arrived at this place of trouble, and to seek answers and solutions.
It is in this seeking and reaching out beyond our normal existence that we find God. Real success is in finding your place in God, through Christ. Growing in God through Christ, and maturing in the person and character of Christ.
The quality of life experienced in this way is far beyond the “norm”, and the qualities of life exhibited by such a person will be evident to all. Of course there will always be opposition and derision for those who follow after the way of love.
And isn’t it somehow laughable (ironic) that in contemporary society, the word love is held in high esteem, at least in the romantic sense; and a good thing that the qualities of love can be seen in such a way, better than not being seen at all. And it is a euphoric kind of feeling, and not all that dissimilar to that which is expressed in the “Song of Solomon” or maybe other OT books. And love within families expresses that love in relationships that is meant to exist as an example of the goodness of God.
Such earthly love, if having no true foundation in the love that God wants us to have, often fails. Much pain is caused by relationship breakdown, again, similar to our broken relationship with him. “Broken hearts”, a destructive thing which hopefully goes on to better things, to a desire to see the God of love as the solution.
Yes there is purpose and meaning to this life. We were created “in his image” that we might grow beyond just his image, that we might grow into the real thing, and be found as having those spiritual qualities that are deemed to be of eternal nature, His nature.
Jesus suffered, and it is the “nature of the beast” that we will suffer also. But the purpose is for us to overcome so we will grow into that which has a wonderful destination of eternal life of the best kind. Our task is to be found in him by believing and trusting in his love as Jesus demonstrated.
[Our overcoming is through faith in his overcoming, faith in Him] [“In this world you will have trouble, but fear not, I have overcome the world”]