Romans 5:3 – 5 (here @ Bible Gateway)
Romans 15:5 – 6 (here @ Bible Gateway)
James 1:2 – 4 (here @ Bible Gateway)
1 Peter 1:6 – 9 (here @ Bible Gateway)
The thrust of these – and before I start down this road, I want to clearly state that it is much easier to understand what the scripture says about this than it is to live it out. It is impossible, in our own strength to walk through pain, suffering, or persecution; perhaps, in fact, that is the point…
Even a cursory reading of those passages suggests a rather difficult assignment. We are to exult in our tribulations. We are to consider all trials to be joy – it would be appropriate to pause a moment to explore the word “consider” more closely. The lexicons, considered as a whole, describe this as an intentional setting of one’s mind in a chosen direction. Thus when we are faced with difficulty it is our charge to think differently about that challenge. We are to embrace it as from the Lord. Peter reinforces this reminding us and agreeing with James that the difficulty is intentional to perfect our faith.
So there is purpose in what the Lord takes us through, it is to refine our faith. However, there is another purpose. Consider, 2 Corinthians 1:3 – 7 (here @ Bible Gateway). One of the things that we learn through the fire of trials is to trust in the faithfulness and love of God. That brings us comfort.
That comfort is not for us only, it is to prepare us to more effectively share the comfort of Christ with those who He brings in our path.
There is a lot more here, I am sure that you have seen more or have more questions. However, that bit is, as I said before, hard to actually live out.