Why does God allow suffering?

This seems like a strange question when you consider the Christian position that this life is not all there is, but rather is preparation, training and selection for a future to come. If you understand this, then it should be obvious that God is going to allow suffering, including bad things happening to good people.

God doesn’t want a universe of robots. He wants humans who have the free will to be His partners in creation. This means that humans must be free to do the wrong thing, which will bring suffering on them and in the short term on others. People need to be trained and selected, and as with other training and selection (professional athletes, special forces soldiers etc.) this is bound to involve some element of suffering. Worthy projects necessary for the future state of the universe need to be completed, which may cause short term suffering. But what about good people who die young? Perhaps their preparation on earth was complete and they graduated to the next stage early. Perhaps this life is not the sum total of their earthly incarnation and they are here to help as part of training and preparing others.

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