It's an uncomfortable truth, but Jesus, who was without sin, grew through suffering. This is part of the Gospel. The ones God graciously saves and accepts as children will grow through their discomfort, adversity.
This doesn't mean we go looking for suffering; Christians aren't called to massocism.
Neither does this mean God is punishing us through our toils (He already punished Jesus for every wrong doing). And He doesn't enjoy our suffering (He's not a sadist).
Is there another way it could be done? Couldn't God have chosen to grow Jesus and humans in some other way? I do not know. Perhaps it is a result of original sin. Perhaps it is some other thing. I just know this is God's chosen method and I know this is good news. This is good news because when life serves us difficulty we may embrace it as good. It can cause us to mature and to become closer to God. (If you think about it, it means Christians always win. When life is easy we enjoy it. When life is hard we grow.)
Are all hardships from God? No, sometimes we do silly things and cause ourselves trouble. Sometimes the world is just dark. Fortunately, regardless of whether a hardship is God's initiation, He can and will use it for His glory (and we can benefit from it).