There are lots of sound theological reasons as to why God permits suffering.
But when that question is raised, I encourage people to probe a little to see why it is being asked. It is usually one of three categories.
1. If someone asks it for the theological reasons, there are lots of answers (sin, free will, logical consequences of our actions, to draw you to God, etc.).
2. If people are asking because they are going through suffering, then console them and point out how Jesus – who is God – was not indifferent to suffering. He suffered in countless physical and emotional ways on their behalf.
3. If someone asks it as a smokescreen then expose the motive. Many times people find that to be a convenient excuse for not believing in God and no answers will suffice.
If you don’t understand why someone is asking about God and suffering you may give an accurate answer but not really address their question.
These short videos offer excellent answers to the problem of suffering.