"So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever."
- 2 Corinthians 4:18
Adversity prepares us for what God has ahead. God's people will be better off eternally because they suffered temporarily. The tradeoff in eternity will bear this out.
Our troubles won't last forever. As 2 Corinthians 4:17 says, "For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!"
The argument for the greater good may be the strongest biblical case for the whys of human suffering. But it requires great trust on our part. This means that we need to look at our suffering and say, "It will all make sense in eternity, and it will produce something that would not have been there otherwise. So in faith, I am going to accept this truth and wait to see the outcome."
Despite the worst tragedy, God can bring good out of bad. That doesn't mean He makes bad things good. But it does mean that despite bad things, He can bring good. This is an important distinction, because often people are looking for cause and effect. They try to connect the dots: This bad thing happened so this good thing would happen. . . . And this even better thing happened. Now I get it.
Sometimes life works that way. It did for Joseph. After being betrayed by his brothers, he was able to tell them, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people" (Genesis 50:20).
But sometimes we can't see the outcome. Still, "God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them" (Romans 8:28).
Ultimately, all things work together for good.