Our God is a suffering God. We see his suffering throughout the Bible.  It begins with Adam and Eve, people he created for enjoyment and relationship, but who both rejected God choosing to follow a selfish path. Later God chose the nation of Israel to be his people. Again they not only rejected the Lord but held him in contempt and twisted his good intentions to look malicious. Then later in the New Testament at the death of Jesus we see the suffering heavenly Father as well as the suffering Son. It is in the cross we have the template for making disciples. Here God demonstrates his willingness to suffer in order to love another through the laying down of His life so that another can have life.
The suffering of God overflows into the life of his followers. Paul writes:
For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” (2 Corinthians 1:5).
The overflow of the suffering of God produces offspring of “like heart.” It is said that “life begets life” but in God’s economy “death begets life.” Only as I die (willingly laying down my life for another) are disciples made. Jesus told his disciples:
I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me… (John 12:24-26).
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:12-13)
 See Terence E. Fretheim, “The Suffering of God: An Old Testament Perspective” (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984)