The LORD said, “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” [Gospel of Luke 14:27, NAB]
When we accept our bodily sufferings with faith and hope in the redemptive fidelity and promises of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, we offer ourselves as a sacrificial offering with that of Jesus Christ. In our struggle to live because we love our very selves, we suffer and we join our own sufferings to that of Jesus Christ crucified. In doing so, we become very good friends with Jesus Christ, becoming like Him, like spouses do over a long, loving marriage. In suffering to live, we join our selves to Jesus Who suffered that we might live forever!
Suffering is temporary; reconciliation, healing and happiness in God are eternal.