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Thursday, November 10, 2016

My Pain Will Often Reveal God’s Purpose For Me

In review of 2 Corinthians 1:4 and 6 it says, “[God] comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others . . . When we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer”

Bottom Line:
The comfort we receive from God in the midst of trouble, we should share when others who are in similar situations. These things often happen so that we can comfort and encourage others.

What this means to me:
God comforts and helps me in my troubles so that I can comfort others when they are troubled. The things I suffer and endure happen so that I can in turn comfort others and and encourage them to endure.

Today's passages come from the 2nd letter Paul sent to the church in Corinth.  In it, he explains how God offers comfort to all. He tells us, that first all praise should go to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. Secondly that He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can in turn comfort others. For when they are troubled we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. The more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for the comfort and salvation of others. For when we are ourselves are comforted, we can certainly comfort other. Then they can patiently endure the same things we suffer.

I’m learning that the pain in my life often reveals part of God’s purpose for me. God never wastes a hurt! He wants me to help others going through similar hurts. God can use the problems in my life to give me a personal ministry to others. In fact, the very thing I’m most ashamed of in and resent the most, can become my greatest ministry in helping others.

After all, who can better help somebody going through a financial troubles than somebody who went through them as well? Who can better help somebody struggling with an addiction than somebody who’s struggled with an addiction? Who can better help parents of a special needs child than parents who raised a special needs child? Who can better help somebody who’s lost a child than somebody who lost a child?

The very thing I hate the most in my own life is what God wants to use for good. Today’s passages say, “[God] comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others . . . When we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer” (2 Corinthians 1:4a, 6 NLT).

One of the definitions of this is redemptive suffering. It is when I go through a problem or a pain for the benefit of others. This is exactly what Jesus did. When Jesus died on the cross, he didn’t deserve to die. He went through that pain for my benefit so that I can be saved and go to Heaven.

There are many different causes for the problems, pains, and suffering. Sometimes it's stuff that we bring on ourselves, such as making stupid decisions. For instance if I go out and overspend and buy things I can’t afford and presume on the future, and then go deeply in debt and lose a house, I can’t say, “God, why did you let me lose my house?” In short, I can’t blame God for my bad choices.

But in some of my problems, I’m innocent. I’ve been hurt by the pain, stupidity, and sins of others. And some of that pain is for redemptive suffering. God may allow me to go through a problem so that I can then help others.

Today I will think through and consider what are some of the problems I’ve had and how I can use these experiences to minister to others?

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