“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.” II Corinthians 1:2-5
God comforts each one of us when we are in the middle of our suffering, showing us how to give comfort to others.
We also learn what it feels like to be afflicted and thus learn sympathy for others.
We can never truly know what someone is going through unless we have been through the same thing ourselves. Only then can we understand and have true compassion for others that are going through what we have already endured.
I once heard a man say that he believed God had allowed him to have cancer in order that he might have an understanding of the disease and be able to help those that also had to live with it. He was able to feel true sympathy and caring for those that were sick because he knew from his own experience what they were going through.
In II Corinthians 12, Paul tells of a thorn in the flesh that God had allowed him to suffer; and while we are not told what the thorn was, we are told that God refused to remove it. God told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (v.9)
If we trust Him in the depths of our suffering, God promises to provide His grace and His strength to get us through. And that grace and strength will shine through us to others if we abide in Him during our afflictions.
Our attitude in the depths of our suffering will make more of an impact on others than anything we could do when nothing is wrong.
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulations worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed: because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Romans 5:1-5
© Drusilla Mott and https://drusillamott.wordpress.com, 2012