I consider the evidential case against a good God from naturally caused suffering to be the most significant problem for believers.
Can anyone tell me why God did not do a perpetual miracle by averting that earthquake? If God was concerned about remaining hidden then no one would suspect he did anything if he averted it, because it would not have taken place. Anyone? Anyone?
No one can say why God did not miraculously stop the earthquake. I live on and near several fault lines in California. I can't explain why God allowed a huge earthquake in New Zealand but thus far today has spared me, my family, friends, and neighbors the same fate or worse. Jesus dealt with this question. And he dealt with it by pointing out that in asking the question we are looking in the wrong spot and asking the wrong question.
1 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” - Luke 13:1-5
His disciples were wondering why did God allow Pilate to abuse Jewish people in such a horrible way. Jesus takes their question and gets them to think in a way that we don't typically think. We usually wonder, what did a person do to deserve such horror when they suffer. Jesus points out that just because you are spared it doesn't make you better or more righteous than the ones who suffer. This isn't just regarding evil we perpetrate on each other but natural disasters and accidents - like the earthquake in New Zealand and the fall of the tower of Siloam.
So why do bad things happen to people who don't seem to deserve it? Wrong question. Why do good things happen to us? Answer: God's mercy. As for how to deal with the problems of life, I have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the promises of God on which to stand.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. - Romans 8:28-29
What have you got when the rubber meets the road and your life seems to fall apart and things happen that you could not have possibly foreseen. Without Jesus, what is the point? None.
Is God good? All the time!!!! Even in the midst of a deadly Earthquake. It could have been far worse. God continued to provide mercy for the people living there. Best take Jesus' words to heart and repent because our time of suffering is coming if not here already.
Debunking Christianity: New Zealand Quake Kills 65 And Traps Hundreds! Isn't God Good?