"Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:10, NIV
In a book I reviewed recently called Transformed by Tough Times (Steve Reed), this would be one of what Mr. Reed called Jesus's "suffering clauses." The Lord never said we'd have an easy life if we decided to follow Him.
Quite the opposite; Jesus said we would be persecuted for His Name's sake, that in this life we'd have tribulation, but if we endured it for Him there would be the reward of eternal life, of knowing we were doing the right thing and for the right reason.
I believe this can apply to ridicule and actual harm that we endure from others and from illnesses. Remember that Paul said he had a "thorn in his side" that Jesus did not heal because God's strength was made perfect in Paul's weakness.
Sometimes the tribulation comes as a result of our own slip-ups, too.
I'm saying this because many who are reading this are going through pain right now. If you will praise the Lord even through this, you will come out stronger on the other side. The strongest Christians I've been around are the ones who have been through times of deep suffering. They're also the quickest to give aid and comfort to others going through the same thing.
Prayer: Lord, I don't always understand why it is that You allow suffering. I don't understand how it will makes me stronger, but I know that You can do it if I let You. Please Lord, help me through this time. Be my Strength when I have none. Pull me through to the other side. Thank You, Sweet Lord.