What You Sow, What You Reap
People always complain - "Why does God give us suffering?"
First of all one must be sure that God does not make us suffer. It is only we who make ourselves suffer with our own Karm (actions). Our Karm are like seeds, whatever seed we will sow, the same kind of fruit we will reap. As a mango seed cannot give gooseberry fruit, in the same way a good Karm cannot reap a bad fruit - it may be that it might take some more time to reap that fruit, but the fruit cannot change.
And as when the seed is sown and it has to grow and give fruit, sooner or later, in the same way all Karm, and in Kali Yug even good and bad thoughts, have to give their fruits on their time, so no escape from any Karm or thought you have done or thought about. That is why in Hindu religion it is stressed that one must always think, say, and do (Manasaa, Vaachaa and Karmanaa) good for everybody, so that you are safe to enjoy life and not to suffer.
Sometimes in our life we face suffering whether physically, mentally or spiritually. It is a common fact that nobody wants to suffer, so if we could program his or her life from the moment of conception, there would be no suffering in our life. But just think, can it be like this? Even the best and greatest people sometimes act badly or wrongly, that is why they have to come again to this world to enjoy or suffer for those Karm.
Value of Suffering?
According to the law of Karm one has to reap what had been sown in the form of Karm. So the value of suffering is that it reminds us that "we have committed some bad Karm, and we should not do such Karm in future. Some people learn lessons from their suffering, while others not; because they still continue to do bad Karm. As some people learn from falling, while some people not. Suffering is an effect of a cause (bad Karm) which warns people not to do it again if they do not want to suffer. For the same reason everybody suffers for the same act differently, because everybody has his own contribution of his heart, thoughts and Karm, and so are their fruits.
Why Can Sages Take Others' Suffering
As written above about the virtues or sins, they have to be reaped, whether the doer reaps or somebody else reaps. Puraan gives several stories about this transfer of Karm (both types), but both should be bold enough to to receive somebody's sins and to give the fruits of his virtues. Thus it is not that the sins or virtues cannot be transferred but most people do not like to take others virtues in exchange of their sins, nor most people want to give the fruits of their virtues to others in exchange of others' sins. It is only saints who can do this, and who do this they are known as saints. That is in their nature that they take others' sorrows and distribute them happiness.
BUT as somebody has to suffer for those sins, the saints suffer for those others' sins. Most people do not know this theory that is why they go those saints and request them to alleviate their sorrows through their earned virtues. Ordinary people do not understand that by doing that they are taking their virtues and then to distribute more virtues to others, they have to earn more, and that is why they are all the time busy in Jaap, worship, Yagya etc.
All people are suffering from some kind of sin since long time, you can set all of them free in one stroke by taking their sins and giving your earned virtue (if you have earned any). Are you willing to deposit your own virtue into their life account and take their sins in exchange? Can you dare?
These saints have to suffer a lot for those blessings they have showered on people, because they have to clear the account of their lives before they leave this world according to "Sow and Reap" principle. They cannot leave this world without paying off their all loans. They have to reap the fruits of those sins which they have taken from others in exchange of their virtues. If the person's sin is light, they will suffer less, but if his sin is very grave, they have to suffer gravely.
(1) Once a person came to Sat Saaee Baabaa and asked him to cure his son from an incurable disease. He said - "Do you want him to come in this world again to suffer from the same sin?" He did not understand what Baabaa said, then he explained him - "Everybody has to enjoy and suffer for his Karm. There is no escape. If he has not consumed the fruit of his Karm in this life, he has to come here again to consume them, so it is better if you let him consume their fruit in this life." He understood and went away.
(2) In Mahaabhaarat TV Serial, when Draupadee says to Yudhishthir that she had committed a mistake while all people gathered for his Raajsooya Yagya, that she laughed at Duryodhan when he fell in the water in Maya Sabhaa. At that time there is a dialog of Yudhishthir, which I like very much so I quote it here, Yudhishthir said - "This is not a good sign. We will have to pay heavily for this sin. It will be better for us if we consume its fruits in this life only." And after that Vidur Jee came to invite them for dice game. They lost both games and they had to go to exile for 13 years.
(3) I have read this on Internet, I do not know its genuineness because I have not read this anywhere else, in the same Mahaabhaarat, Abhimanyu is said to be the grandson of Moon god' - Moon god's son of Varchas' son, but his soul was of Kaalayavan Daitya, [how this became possible that being the grandson of Mooon god he was the incarnation of Kaalayavan Daitya, I don't know]. Since Krishn knew this, He did not let him learn to come out of Chakra Vyooh. Because if he did not die in this war, he would have become invincible after the war and even Krishn could not have defeated him. Thus because of his Karm he had to die like this.
(4) In the same Mahaabhaarat, after Paandav's Swargaarohan, when Yudhishthir was taken to show Hell by Indra, as he reached there, the people living in hell felt very comfortable; and as soon as he was returning from there, they started crying - "O Son of Dharm, please stand here for some more time. We are feeling much better in your presence." Yudhishthir asked - "Who are you and why are you feeling better in my presence?" Those people said - "I am Karn, I am Bheem." Hearing their names Yudhishthit got stunned that his own people who were so righteous are in Hell. He said to the messenger of Indra who brought him to show Hell - "You go away from here, I am not going anywhere from here, because by my standing here, my brothers are comforted." The messenger went back to Indra and reported this to him. Within a moment Indra came there and all scenes disappeared from there. So this is the effect of people's virtues that even their presence comforts the Hell dwellers.
Thus one has to suffer or enjoy the fruits of his Karm, whether it is a virutous Karm or a sin. That is another matter that we love pleasures and hate sorrows and suffering, so as soon we feel sorrow and suffering, we get disturbed and wish to alleviate them as soon as possible. If we will not suffer our sorrows, somebody else has to suffer them, but who else is going to suffer for others when one does not want to suffer even for himself? It has to be done on exchange basis, then who is going to give his pleasures for one's sins? If one can do that, the other person's sorrows can be alleviated.