I just read an excellent article by Steve Brown of Key Life about suffering.
Crosses & Crowns
It is worth it to take the time to read the entire article, don't worry it's not too long, and the scriptures referenced.
Here are my notes on the article.
1. Suffering is a fact.
2. Remember that Christ suffered first, 1 Peter 3:18, Hebrews 4:15
3. See how Christ dealt with pain and do likewise.
A. Submission, Matthew 26:39. "There is no value in suffering per se. The difference lies in how you respond to the suffering. Strike against it or become bitter by it and you will become bloodied. Accept it and you will become Christ like."
B. Recognition. "Christ suffered with recognition- that God's plan included the suffering and that even such suffering had meaning."
C. Affirmation- God is good. God is love. 1 Peter 4:1-2. "Suffering teaches, cleanses and changes the believer who accepts it with the same attitude with which Christ accepted it."
4. God doesn't leave us alone in our pain and struggle. His comfort is ours. Psalm 34:4 & 18, Isaiah 40:27-31 & 41:10, Matthew 11:28-30, 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
" Father, I don't know what this day holds for me. I hope that it is laughter and joy, but I know that it may be pain and suffering or hurt and humiliation. Whatever You have for me, teach me to accept it the way Christ accepted it."
It is my prayer that I will be able to remember and focus on this in the midst of the pain.