Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering 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, whom he has given us.
Paul suffered more for Christ than most in the New Testament. He never saw it as punishment, but as a blessing and an opportunity to grow. When you face trials, how do you deal with them? Do you deal with them head on, relying on God’s strength to get you through them? Or, do you try to find some way to go around them, taking the easy way out and relying on your own strength? So many people miss the opportunity to grow, the very thing trials are meant for. It’s a chance to become closer to God, an opportunity to see God work through you, to see your faith grow.