The four purposes of suffering that I have in mind are:
- the moral purpose, because suffering refines our holiness and hope (Romans 5:1-8),
- the intimacy purpose, because in suffering our relationship with Christ becomes deeper and sweeter (Philippians 3:7-14)
- the missions purpose, because God calls us to complete Christ's afflictions as we extend the worth of his through the reality of ours (Colossians 1:24)
- and the glory purpose, because this slight, momentary affliction is working for us an eternal weight of glory (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).