Going through our Adult Bible Study in Smyrna we covered this subject. Here is is again for your review and for all those that would read this.
The problem of human suffering, even for a limited time, always perplexed faithful Christians, as it does today. Suffering can be expected for the ungodly, but why should the godly suffer? The Scriptures give several reasons.
Suffering may be:
Sometimes it is Disciplinary as in 1 Cor. 11:30–32; Heb. 12:3–13,
1 Corinthians 11:30–32 (ESV)
That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.
Hebrews. 12:3–13 is a long narrative as to how we are not to grow weary. Verse seven sums it up quite well for this purpose.
Hebrews 12:7 (ESV)
It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
Sometimes it is Preventive (as Paul’s thorn in the flesh,)
2 Corinthians 12:7 (ESV)
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.
Sometimes it is Learning obedience (as Christ’s suffering, Heb. 5:8; cf. Rom. 5:3–5)
Hebrews 5:8 (ESV)
Although he (Jesus) was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.
Romans 5:3–5 (ESV)
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 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.
Sometimes it is Providing testimony for Christ. Jesus speaking to Paul tells us:
Acts 9:16 (ESV)
For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”