And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: Romans 5:3-4
The above New Testament scripture is from the King James edition of the Bible that I believe Rabbi Boteach quoted somewhat.. If you applied these verses to say, learning carpentry, the tribulation might involve hitting your finger with a hammer, ruining a nice piece of expensive wood, or having to do a whole project over again because you made a mistake. Once you became a skilled carpenter you can glory in the fact that you don't hit your finger with the hammer, that you know how to saw a piece of wood without messing it up. You have patience because you have experience. It's like comparing your first day on the job with the day you became CEO. You have hope because you have confidence. You glory in your tribulations because because they made you a better employee. Being a Christian is much the same but enormously better. Being a Christian who can build a house, well, it doesn't get any better. You get the best of both worlds.
So it is your belief that all suffering results in a positive return for the person going through the experience?
Absolutely! Just like a woman going through labor during childbirth.
Ok so I guess my follow up questions are these:
What then about say a childbirth that results in a painful death for the child? What is gained for that child?
What about the suffering of animals? Does their suffering work to help them?
Basically I curious if you believe there is any suffering that does not directly help the person who is experiencing it.
A Christian believes that a child that dies at birth goes to heaven. Also suffering will not help a person if that person won't allow it to help. Some people turn to drugs and alcohol to relieve the pain of suffering.
So in this instance that child does not need the experiences of life to shape and mold her soul in order to gain entrance to heaven. God has chosen that she does not need to undergo the rigors of life and yet feels that her soul is fit for a place in heaven.
Now I'm assuming you believe in the Christian God who is all powerful, all knowing, and all good.
So if that child does not need the molding of her soul by the experiences and hardships of life then it proves that really non of us would HAVE to undergo them. Believing that then it begs the question as to why a God that is truly loving would subject all of us to this experience of life and not simply allow us all to bypass this worldly test and only exist in that heavenly realm. Because if you believe that God is all good then you would have to agree that He would want to achieve His goals with the least amount of suffering necessary to the creatures that He loves.