I didn't focus on suffering as much in my sermon last week, which is an important aspect of understanding what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. Few people have done a better job in our generation teaching on the purpose and plan of suffering for the Christian than John Piper.
Here is a sermon series he preached in the early 90s called "Called to Suffer and Rejoice."
It was very impacting on my thinking about the purpose and plans of suffering in the Christian life.
When Piper was diagnosed with Prostate cancer a few years ago he wrote a helpful article called "Don't Waste Your Cancer."