Suffering is the will of God. It is his chief instrument for fashioning His creatures according to His own plan. While by our work we ought to be seeking to make a bit of the world such as He would have it to be, by our suffering He is seeking to make such as He would have us to be. He blocks up our pathway by it on this side and on that, in order that we may be kept in the path which He has appointed. He prunes our desires and ambitions; He humbles and makes us meek and acquiescent. By our work we help to make a well-ordered world, but by our suffering He makes a sanctified man; and in His eyes this is by far the greater triumph.
James Stalker, The Trial and Death of Jesus Christ (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1966), 153.