Judaism teaches that the purpose of creation is in order that man transform our material world into a dwelling place for G-d. The culmination of this purpose will be realized with the coming of the Messiah.
Exile (the current status quo) and Redemption, are analogous to a pregnancy and birth respectively. The cosmic marriage between G-d and his people took place with the revelation at Sinai. G-d, analogous to the 'husband,' imbued mankind - the recipient/wife, with all the material and spiritual potential needed to perfect his creation. Just as its the woman's function to create and develop that which she receives from the male into an actual baby, when we harness the material world for its intended purpose, we too, can contribute to the development of 'G-ds baby.'
Humanity in its un-rectified state, is like a fetus that doesn't perceive the source of its sustenance. Pregnancy is a challenging time and it is only as a result of strong/painful contractions that a baby is able to emerge. In a similar sense, the birthing process of redemption could involve a temporary state of hardship and 'chaos' which expresses divine contraction and concealment - also referred to as the 'birth-pangs' of Messiah, which serve as a necessary step towards the ultimate cosmic birth. By increasing in acts of goodness and kindness we help ease and speed up the 'birthing process' enabling the Messiah to come in a more timely and merciful way.
A person's soul is a spark of G-d, dispatched from heaven to this lowly material world for the divine mission of illuminating the darkness of this corporeal world with the light of goodness and G-dliness. A large part of our mission is to help others, in particular those who are less fortunate, shine their light unto the world as well. With an attitude of selflessness, a person becomes more aligned with their true calling to be an 'Emissary' and a 'lamp of G-d (Proverbs).’
In heaven the soul has it easy. But this material world, is where all the action is and where the purpose of creation lies.
Facing and overcoming challenges is a fundamental part of our purpose and reason for being, which is to transform the very darkness itself into light.
No matter the hardships and challenges one faces in life, our souls essence and its unconditional love and attachment to G-d, remains intact as it is essentially indestructible. Ironically its the challenges themselves that help bring our souls inner strength to the surface - analogous to a flint stone that only when struck, does it release a spark. Likewise a persons greatest strengths are often realized by facing up to the challenges and hardships one encounters. The 'mighty waters' of worry, anxiety and pain, instead of ‘drowning’ the soul, ultimately help the soul ‘float above’ and raise it to even greater heights, thereby bringing one closer to G-d and to their deepest self.