I believe that at times, God uses pain and suffering to stimulate our spiritual lives - to move us forward - to change us - even bring healing to our lives. Pain and suffering grab our attention and won't let us go until we deal with it and get our spiritual house in order.
Without a doubt, through the grace of God suffering can motivate us to change. By it we are transformed, not magically but mysticly, becoming the person God wants us to be.
In 1 Peter 4:12-19 it is written: "Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the firey trial which is to try you as though some strange thing happened to you: but rejoice to the extent you partake in Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy."