We are trained both by society and the flesh to avoid anything that might cause us any ‘pain’, but recently it has occurred to me that for the Christian, problems are in reality opportunities to draw nearer to our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.  The quote below sums it up perfectly. 

“Every problem in life is an opportunity for spiritual growth (Romans 5:1-5; Romans 8:28-29). So often believers pray for God to change the other person when they themselves are in a perfect place to draw close to the Lord, to come to know Him more deeply, and to love Him more completely.  All believers have numerous opportunities to focus on their own relationship with Christ, to look to Him to work in their own lives for spiritual growth, and to confess their own sins rather than the shortcomings and failures of others. Shifting the focus to how others must change defeats the purpose of spiritual transformation and growth (see Genesis 3:12-13).”  Martin and Deidre Bobgan, “Person to Person Ministry-Soul Care in the Body of Christ”, p.59.