One of my former pastors (Actually the pastor who presided over our wedding. I moved away from Erie in 1994) has been writing a series on his blog on the topic of “being the church.” Here’s a snippet from one of the more recent installments:
We know that God uses evil to bring about good. We have seen that in the life of Joseph. We have seen that in the struggles of Job. And, as the best example, we have seen that in the death of Jesus. In the Cross we see how God can use something that is so very evil to bring about something that is so very, very good.
In the old KJV the word we now translate as “patience” is translated as “longsuffering.” Patience is gained through suffering, by and large. And suffering together is part of being the Church.
Here’s a link to the whole series of posts: On Being the Church. I think you’ll find them worth reading.