“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us(Romans 8:18).” This begs the question of what does suffering entail? Is it only that which comes from other people (persecution), or can it include sickness, disease, accidents,etc.? John Piper’s book Desiring God has been helpful in my understanding of answering this question.
All experiences of suffering in the path of Christian obedience, whether from persecution or sickness or accident, have this in common: They all threaten our faith in the goodness of God and tempt us to leave the path of obedience. Therefore, every triumph of faith and all perseverance in obedience are testimonies to the goodness of God and the preciousness of Christ- whether the enemy is sickness, Satan, sin or sabotage.
Therefore, all suffering, of every kind, that we endure in the path of our Christian calling is a suffering “with Christ” and “for Christ.” With him in the sense that the suffering comes to us as we are walking with Him by faith and in the sense that it is endured in the strength He supplies through His sympathizing high-priestly ministry (Hebrews 4:15). For Him in the sense that it reveals HIs worth as an all-sufficient compensation and prize (257).