It would be very unusual for a person to really want to suffer or to desire to be sick or hurt or heavy burdened. I would say it is unheard of, but I can only say it is unheard of to me.
But I can say by experience, both in the natural realm, and the supernatural, or spiritual realm, I do enjoy very much the comforting that a loving person brings when I have been in an infliction or infirmity.
God is love, and therefore, Jesus is the Person of love. And love is definitely the motivation of genuinely offered and given comforting, and consolation.
We read in II Corinthians 1:5,6 “For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.”
Just as there is no need for the Saviour, unless we are a sinner and in need of saving, and there is no need of victory without a battle; likewise, there is no need of the Consoler without some sort of suffering.
One of the positive things about sufferings, is that we have entered into an area, where we are in great need of the Person of love and consolation; to run to our sides[ which is what the original word for consolation or comforter means]. And we have the promise from the holy Word of God, that just as our suffering may be much, or great, so will our consolation from the Lord.
Paul knew more of the experience of suffering than most of us. So according to our passage, he also knew more of the experience of the closeness of the consolation power of the Lord Jesus Christ than most of us.
I would not be untrue to say then that suffering is a type of opportunity.
Regardless of the reason for the closeness of fellowship, those who spend more time with the Lord Jesus Christ, know Him better than those who do not.
One of Job’s visiting friends, Eliphaz, asked a question in Job 15: 11 “Are the consolations of God small with thee?”
Regardless of what Eliphaz’s mindset of motive for his question to Job; the answer is found in our text: and that is they measure the same as to the degree or amount of our suffering.