Take thy share in suffering as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
- 2 Timothy 2:3 (JND)
It is not our purpose to seek out suffering, but neither is it to avoid it.
It is jokingly said that one thing you should not pray for is patience, because if you do, God is going to send all sorts of calamity to try what little patience you do have. However, patience is a virtue that we need to have. It is a fruit of the Spirit. Patience is a good, godly thing, and the only way to acquire it is to have it tried. To say, even jokingly, that you should not pray for patience focuses on the suffering rather than the goal. It cheats you out of Christ-likeness.
It is good to pray for patience, for that leads us to a greater to our Master. To live as a Christian means we will suffer for Christ, and to suffer for Christ is to know Him better. Does our desire to avoid suffering exceed our desire to know Christ?
…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, …
- Philippians 3:10 (JND)