Number two: Many saints have paved the way and provide encouragement & hope through their testimonies.
Just check out the familiar story of Joni Erickson Tada. Confined to a wheelchair as a quadraplegic at the age of 19 (due to a diving accident), her story is one of endurance that provides hope to many and brings glory to Christ every time she shares her testimony.
She spoke a couple years ago at a Desiring God Conference on suffering; a topic she is well acquainted with. I listened to that talk today and was again reminded of the perseverance it takes to faithfully endure such a physical trial as quadraplegia. I was struck by the thought that, although some would consider my temporary bedrest as a "trial", there is a definite "end" in sight.
I can look forward to a date when this will be done. I can mark days on the calendar and plead with the Lord for the grace to endure. But then, this trial will be over. I will be free from the confines of this hospital room. I will be able to walk again, take care of myself & my family, return to church and resume "normal life". It is a very temporary "trial".
But Joni, she has no end in sight...except heaven. She cannot mark days off the calendar in anticipation for her "trial" to end. She is confined to that wheelchair for life. And she must awaken every day with the challenges that come with her physical disability. I was struck by some of her statements regarding her daily struggles.
She stated (and I paraphrase) that the cross you bear is not the affliction...it is not the suffering...it is your attitude about such things (self-pity, anger, bitterness, unbelief, etc...). We are called to die to these sinful attitudes daily. For then we can grow to be more like Him, to become Holy, to become sin-less. And it is through His power, His peace and His joy that we are able to experience these changes in our sinful souls. And through them, the Lord receives the glory...and others are encouraged in the faith.
If you haven't read her story or ever heard her speak...do so, it will change how you view your current sufferings. It did mine.