As Christians, we can see the truth in this statement. We understand that our greatest growth can come after our biggest failure. And through our suffering we learn to trust in God. Our struggles bring forth fruit and in our weakness we are given strength. Christians are blessed because we now that are suffering is not in vain, that God uses it to grow us:
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."
~ Albert Einstein ~
Romans 5:2-5 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.Suffering is something that the Christian knows will come, it's been promised in the Scriptures and in fact marks us as Christians:
Philippians 1:29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,Notice that we suffer for Christ's sake, we suffer with Him, so that we may be glorified with Him:
Romans 8:16-17 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs- heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.Suffering is not something that comes out of the blue and shouldn't be a surprise but we are surprised by it. It's hard to follow Paul's example and rejoice but we can be comforted with the knowledge that suffering is part of our union with Christ:
Philippians 3:10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his deathAnd when we suffer we can look to Christ and follow His lead:
2 Corinthians 1:5 For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
1 Peter 4:13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
Hebrews 5:8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.When we suffer, it feels like it goes on forever. Will it ever end, will it ever stop? But we have been promised that it will end and we can take solace in the knowledge that our suffering is for a short duration when you compare it to the glory that is to come:
1 Peter 4:1 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.
Peter 2:21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.
Hebrews 13:12-15 So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.
Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.It's comforting to know that Christ knows what we are going through because He went through it to. He understands our struggles, He understands our pain. He isn't distant and far removed from our suffering. He became like us, so that He could suffer for us:
1 Peter 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
Hebrews 2:9-10 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.Praise be to God that we have a God who would suffer so that the opportunity for salvation could be made.