So to carry this thought 1 step further (see 2 posts below "Inner Strength")
SINCE...there is no other way to develop this inner strength except for the continuous battle of chronic pain and illness,
COULD IT BE....that certain people in this generation have been given these weird new illnesses, (mostly due to environmental toxins, such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Lupus, Gulf War Syndrome, and any undiagnosed and/or auto-immune disease that goes through the whole system of the body)
in order to strengthen us for the worst part of the last days??
Another thought is this. The only thing we take with us is what we learn and our relationships. So those of us who have learned this inner strength will be a little bit ahead after the resurrection, and may be called upon to be teachers, guides, missionaries, counselors, leaders to those who did not have the opportunity to learn what we learned through constant pain.
Just my humble opinion.