The Bible speaks from beginning to end about the presence and benefits of suffering. James tells us that we’re to “consider it all joy whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance,” which then leads to maturity. The teenage years bring difficulty for both teenagers and their parents. As a result, we can experience the joy of going deeper with God and depending on him during the challenges of adolescence. We’ve learned that the harder the difficulty, the deeper God is taking us. He wants us at the place where we drop our arms to our sides, look to him in desperation, and then confess, “Ok Lord, I’ve got nothing.” Suffering is a process God uses to refine us and our kids into His image and likeness. If we had to do it all over again as parents, would we change the circumstances that led us to suffering and helplessness? Absolutely not! It’s been a gift that’s taken us deeper in our dependence on Him.