This is a relatively new development within the protestant branch, and is a very new development for those within the Reformed camp. Protestant theology up until the 1800s looked at suffering as a way to purify one's self before God. In the Reformed camp we have great poems by William Cowper that face the issue of suffering head-on. We have writings by Jonathan Edwards and many others who have no problem embracing suffering; in fact, many go to the extreme to say that suffering is sanctioned by God because it brings Him glory. In fact, this is what I was taught during my time as a Calvinist.
Recently, however, the Reformed camp has moved more towards a theology that downplays suffering. Part of this is only natural I think. With people losing their jobs, unable to afford things, barely getting by, going on government aid, and so on, it makes sense that they don't want to hear about suffering. They want to hear about better times. They don't want to think about suffering because they're facing it. In some ways I can certainly understand their feelings on the matter, on the other hand, however, the responsible thing is to teach them how to handle suffering rather than ignoring it.
The other problem is that many evangelical philosophers have adopted this "greater-good" theodicy, the teaching that all evil that occurs ultimately serves a greater purpose or is meant for good. Thus, a little girl is kidnapped and murdered by a man and these philosophers say, "Yes, but God allowed this because a greater good will come from it." Intellectually, such an argument is suspect, but I think it can be defended (though I disagree with it; I happen to believe that gratuitous evil is a very real thing). Existentially, however, the argument is inexcusable and abhorrent. I think this has trickled down into the congregations, where suffering is ignored because in God's mysterious ways there's a greater good to be found (tell that to the parents of the girl).
I think this is why I've found Orthodoxy to be so fulfilling, because it really does cast a real light on suffering. As I described it to someone at my parish during coffee hour this past Sunday, when I left my former worship services I would always feel upbeat, happy, and bright...until I hit the real world. Now, when I leave an Orthodox service, I feel more somber and realistic about the world. When the reality of this world hits me, it's nothing to me; I feel more prepared for it. It's hard to explain, especially when I'm writing this as tired as I am.