Hebrews 2.10 describes it was fitting for God, for Whom and through Whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
How do we test our strength? We test our strength by lifting as much weight as we can or running as far as we can or enduring whatever we attempt as long as we can. Strength is measured against resistance. While it takes resistance to build strength, endurance and perseverance we usually avoid those things in life because they are hard and they hurt.
Nevertheless, we use these things to make us or our children stronger. Its not that we try and inflict pain upon ourselves or our loved ones but we are not afraid of the pain of discomfort, the pain of muscles growing, the pain of hard experiences, in order to develop our character and abilities so that we are better people.
God too uses suffering, pain, difficulties to form us into His image for it was these very things He experienced living among us as one of us for perfecting Himself. God was, is and always will be perfect. Jesus, as the God-Man, experienced life as a man, with all of its hardships and difficulties. He couldn’t have been the perfect sacrifice if He missed experiencing our ‘perfect’ circumstances. Because He did live in this world and suffered in this world like all of us, He is the perfect substitute for all of us.
He too suffered hunger, thirst, loss of loved ones, injustice, betrayal, loss of friendship, familial disdain, poverty, hate, prejudice and the list could go on. As God, He could have destroyed all those who brought these things upon Him. As God, He could have saved His own earthly father from dying. Instead He suffered all these things as we do; taking them in with all their pain, sadness and bitterness. This is why Jesus is our perfect Savior; He lived through all these things responding to them as God wants us to.
Hard times reveal who we really are and often it isn’t very pretty. Hard times are the times where we have our best opportunity to reveal God Who lives within us. It is in the hard times where we can be most like God, for in His hardest times He most revealed the love of God.
We need hard times so we can show the world how strong God is for those who doubt His love or power or goodness. We need hard times to show our dependence upon God so that others can learn to depend upon Him too. Hard times are our best times for demonstrating the reality of our Christianity.