I picked up a great book last week with a gift card (my favorite!) from a friend.
Be Still, My Soul: Embracing God's Purpose & Provision in Suffering. It is 25 classic & contemporary readings on the problem with pain. I'm on the second reading, and it has rocked my soul.
Chapter 1: Suffering: The Servant of Our Joy by Tim Keller
"It's like what happens to an acorn. Do you know how much power there is in an acorn? An entire huge tree can come out of one small little acorn. And out of that tree can come innumerable other trees. One acorn has the power to fill a continent with wood. But only if it dies. Only if it 'falls to the ground and dies' (John 12:24) is that enormous power released"
Some good scripture he used to remind me of truth...
"Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all" 2 Cor. 4:16-17.
"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." Romans 8:18
"We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that sufferings produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who he has given us." Romans 5:3-5
Tim ends this by saying "Don't just accept suffering--because God doesn't want it. Don't just avoid suffering--because God can use it. Don't just embrace suffering--because it is evil. Instead, enjoy the hope suffering is going to be engulfed, swallowed up. The evil that hurts us now will be the eventual servant of our joy and glory eternally."