Don't Waste Your Pain
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
Personal adversity and suffering give us a new compassion for others who are in pain. Someone who has suffered can minister with great compassion to another person who is experiencing the same kind of adversity.
I believe the most effective person to minister to someone who has been diagnosed with cancer is a cancer survivor, because he or she can say, "I know what you are going through. I know what it is like to hear that news. Let me tell you what I did. Let me tell you how I have gotten through this."
A person with a disability can minister more effectively to another person with a disability than someone who doesn't have one at all. They can say, "I, too, struggle. I, too, have to deal with this. But let me share with you how God has helped me."
A person who has lost a loved one often can minister more effectively to someone else who has lost a loved one. They know what it is like.
The apostle Paul wrote that God "comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ" (2 Corinthians 1:4–5).
Don't waste your pain. If you have gone through hardship, if you have gone through adversity or are going through difficulty, God can use you to help someone else. God can open up your heart and give you opportunities to minister to people in ways you never have had before.
This is one of the things that suffering can bring about in a person's life. And nothing ever happens accidentally to a child of God.
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