Typically, we try our hardest to avoid suffering. Yet, if we spend our whole lives actively working to avoid suffering, we will miss out on moments where suffering brings us closer to others and closer to God.
What do you do when suffering comes?
When we are persecuted or endure suffering, Jesus suffers with us. This is shown in the story of Paul’s (Saul’s) conversion. Jesus asks Paul why he is persecuting Him. Now Paul recognizes that his suffering is for Jesus, but Jesus also suffers with him.
Paul, in verse 28, believes that his suffering actually pushes the cause of Christ forward. Paul is able to rejoice in his suffering because his eyes weren’t on himself - they were focused on Christ.