Does all suffering have a purpose?

I have heard that suffering is supposed to unite us with Christ’s death, but do we ever suffer for no reason at all or because that’s just the way it is in a fallen world? Does every experience of suffering have a deeper meaning or some part in God’s plan for us, or is it sometimes completely without purpose?

Whether or not evil happens to a particular person might be random, but that person’s response to evil will determine whether or not his suffering will have meaning. It was Christ’s death and resurrection that made it possible for a person’s suffering to have redemptive value.

Recommended reading:

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
The Problem of Pain by C. S. Lewis
Making Sense Out of Suffering by Peter Kreeft