Thank you for your excellent question. The Scriptures have much to say about this topic.

* Christians suffer because suffering precedes glory. Romans 8:17-18 says, “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” We will be glorified in Christ and He will be glorified in us. 2 Thessalonians 1:10, 12 says, “When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

* Christians suffer so that we can reign with Christ in His kingdom.  2 Timothy 2:12 says, “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him, He also will deny us.”

* Christians suffer in order to partake of Christ’s sufferings and, in so doing, become more like Christ. 1 Peter 2:21 says, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”

* Christians suffer in order to purify ourselves and help us to follow the Lord and His Word. Psalm 119:67 says, “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.” Similarly, 1 Peter 5:10 says, “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you” (NASB).

* Christians suffer in order to bring glory to God. We read in Psalm 50:15, “And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.”

* Christians suffer in order to show the superiority of Christ over Satan. We read in Revelation 2:10, “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”

* Christians suffer so that we can learn to be patient. We read in James 1:3, “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”

* Christians suffer so that we will realize our weakness and depend on the Lord’s strength. We read in 2 Corinthians 12:8-10, “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

* Christians suffer in order to be a good testimony to unbelievers. For example, we read in Acts 16:25, “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.”

* Christians suffer in order to draw us toward Christ and eternal things and away from the sights and sounds of this world. As we read in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

There are many more Scriptures that could be mentioned, but hopefully these will encourage each believer to not be afraid of suffering. Remember that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). Be encouraged, dear believer!  (345.2)  (DJ)