Speaking of the trials and hardships that Christians are called to endure, Hebrews 12:11 says:
"For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it."
Suffering trains us. In You Can Change, Tim Chester uses a classic 80's movie to illustrate:
In the film Karate Kid, the young student is assigned a series of tasks by the old master. He thinks they're all meaningless and irrelevant -- painting the fence, waxing the car, and so on. But eventually he discovers the repeated hand and arm movements have given him strength, reflexes and agility -- everything he needs to be a great karate fighter!
Often the events of our lives appear to be meaningless and irrelevant. But all the time God is training using grace and godliness...Sinful desires can lurk in our hearts unnoticed because those desires are neither threatened nor thwarted. But suffering stirs the calm waters of latent desires. It reveals the true state of our hearts.
What a great reminder...who thought the Karate Kid could be so edifying!