I don’t know.
But I think it’s possible.
In my experience though, people without a care in the world rarely even consider larger theological and philosophical issues.
But maybe that is just Western culture.
In the same way that adversity can lead to personal growth and resistance training can lead to muscle growth, suffering and pain – has the potential – to lead to spiritual growth.
Of course, personal adversity can make you bitter, resistance training can tear your bicep, and suffering and pain can make you hopeless.
I’ll delicately put it like this:
I think meaning and purpose and love is easier found in suffering than it is in idle luxury and excess.
Malcolm Muggeridge echoed this too.
A medical doctor recently wrote to me and put it this way: It seems to me that when we speak in a theoretical sense about terrible suffering of cancer patients or orphans, we miss a good deal of the picture. When people actually engage with and enter into the experiences of real, live cancer patients, or go to experience life at an actual orphanage, people tend to come away from those experiences strengthened in their faith, not weakened. It’s often right where suffering happens that we personally experience God.
-Ravi Zacharias and Vince Vitale, Why Suffering?