Rav Isaac Sher - The Beauty of Suffering & the Torment of Gehinom
Chazal tell us the a lifetime of suffering in this world is less painful than even a moment in Gehinom. How can we compare suffering in a physical world to the suffering in a spiritual world, it is not a real comparison. Are we really comparing degrees of heat?
Rav Isaac Sher explains that there is a big difference between suffering in this world and suffering in the next world. Gehinom he says merely cleanses you of your aveiros. Once you are clean however, you are the same person you were before, only without the stains of your misdeeds. You are on the same low level.
Not so with suffering in this world. Through our suffering we grow and can reach new heights. We contemplate our pain and open new vistas of understanding of Hashem and our purpose in the world. Each step of our purification brings us closer to Hashem in ways we would have been unable to without the pain.
Maybe this resolves our question. While suffering in the next world is a punishment for our sins, suffering in this world is an opportunity for advancement. Therefore all the pain in this world which is steeped with opportunity cannot be compared to even a single moment of the hopeless of Gehinom.