This is the most difficult question to answer as a theist. We, as Christians accept that suffering is a result of evil existing in the world. C.S. Lewis once said contemplating on the topic that “suffering is God’s megaphone to a deaf world.
But how would an atheist reconcile the thought of a benevolent, omnipotent, omniscient God and suffering. Surely if God is as all-powerful as He is, He can stop suffering altogether. Breaking up the thought into a few components in order to approach the question, we first look to the question and the questioner themselves.
The question is based on values that prove rather than disprove the existence of God because you wouldn’t ask the question if you don’t believe in an absolute moral law. And if you wouldn’t believe in an absolute moral law unless you believed that there is a moral law giver. So God must be involved in the paradigm, not away from it.
Both believers and nonbelievers alike, can agree that the ultimate ethic in life is love. There is no higher standard that a human can experience in life beyond love. And a major component of love is free will. In other words, free will is indispensable to love. So to keep God, love and free will in the paradigm, there must be the free will to also choose evil which is separation or deviance from love. And this is the consequence of God’s supreme effort.
Another thought on this matter is this: If I was to take a life, that tragedy would be irreversible. But if God takes it, He has the power to bring life into it again in eternity. So without eternity, the problem of evil would still be unanswered. Thus, because God is able to restore life and He grants us eternity, eternity leads to eternal justice.
We are many voices, united by the same Spirit, driven to Serve Apostolic Love and Testimony.