It is no coincidence that both John Calvin and Robert E. Lee, who each suffered incredible, sustained physical and mental trials in their lives, and remained faithful, had a theology of suffering.
Calvin says "When God, therefore, wishes to lead us to repentance, he may be compelled to continually repeat his blows, either because we are not moved when he chastises us with his hand, or we seem roused for a time, then return again to our former dullness. He is therefore compelled to redouble his blows."
Lee says, "We must expect reverses, even defeats. They are sent to teach us wisdom and prudence, to call forth greater energies and to prevent our falling into greater disasters."
May our sovereign God grant his church today this theology of suffering so she may stand in the battle.