I'm reading Case for Faith, came across a quote from a pastor, John R W Stott. Excuse the typos, I barely looked at the keyboard or screen, and I'm not about to proof read it ;-)
I could never myself believe in God, if it were not for the cross.... In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it? I have entered many Buddhist temples in different Asian countries and stood respectfully before the statue of Buddha, his legs crossed, arms folded, eyes closed, the ghost of a smile playing round his mouth, a remote look on his face, detached from the agonies of the world. But each time after a while I have had to turn away.
And in imagination I have turned instead to that lonely, twisted, tortured figure on the cross, nails through hands and feet, back lacerated, limbs wrenched, brow bleeding from thorn-pricks, mouth dry and intolerably thirsdy, plunged in God-forsaken darkness.
That is the God for me! He laid aside his immunity to pain. He entered our world of flesh and blood, tears and death. He suffered for us. Our sufferings become more manageable in light of His. There is still a question mark against human suffering, but over it we boldly stamp another mark, the cross which symbolizes divine suffereing. 'The cross of Christ ... is God's only self-justification in such a world' as ours.
This is at the end of a chapter entitled "Suffering disproves God". There's much more written, but we should do well to remember that Christ suffered everything that we suffer, and everything that everyone else has suffered. Not to mention everything He Himself suffered. Which, dare I say, is much much more than I ever have, and likely ever will. Betrayal, rejection, abuse, torture... Wow.
Jesus doesn't give us an answer to suffering, He is the answer!