Were you unable to go to church today? Listen to this It's one of the sessions from a great seminar on suffering by Pastor John Piper. You can even read the notes click on "The Necessity, Nature, and Purposes of Christian Suffering" under seminar notes for the session I have linked to. I have found this to be one of the most thorough explanations of suffering I have ever heard.
Some of the questions he answers from scripture in this lecture include:
Is it ok to ask God "why" when we suffer?
Is suffering from sickness, loss of a job, or death of a loved one the same as when it talks about suffering from persecution in scripture?
Why does God permit and order suffering?
How can we joyfully endure suffering?
One of my favorite quotes from the lecture: "What is our goal in life? To avoid suffering, or to magnify Jesus above all?"