Suffering is not a pleasant experience, nor much sought after. But it is nonetheless a universal human experience. People suffer for all kinds of reasons, and will spend countless hours looking for the reasons for all kinds of suffering. Why is this happening? What did you and I do wrong? Where is the fairness? I don't deserve to suffer like this...how can I keep it from happening again?
In Romans 5, Paul wades boldly into the depths of human suffering and offers to Christians no plan for avoiding suffering, nor pathway out - instead only the counterintuitive assurance that those who give their lives to Jesus can count on suffering, and when they do they will rejoice.
Paul can say this with confidence because he knows Jesus himself his fulfilled the long-anticipate role of God's suffering servant, and that no servant is greater than his or her master, and that his followers will become like Jesus when they are faithful. Paul also knows that love for God has been poured into each believer's heart by grace and through the Holy Spirit...and all suffering becomes hope and endurance and strength in the refining fire of God's love.