TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2014
Experience shows that the more we share Christ’s suffering the more we are able to give of his encouragement. — 2 Corinthians 1:5
If someone just found out they have cancer and you are a cancer survivor, you have no idea how much encouragement and perspective you can bring to such a person, who feels as though he or she has been handed a death sentence.
If you have alcoholism in your past, and God has graciously delivered you from that plague and kept you from falling back into it again, your life can bring great hope to someone still in the grip of the addiction.
Or maybe a couple you know lost a child through illness or some terrible accident, and they are walking on the ragged edge of sanity, feeling like they can’t go on another minute, much less another day. If you have lost a child in the past and God has brought you healing, you can come along and say, “We lost a child, too, and it was the hardest thing that ever happened to us. Though we still mourn that child, and though we’re still dealing with it and miss him every single day, we want you to know that God can help you each step of the way. His grace really will be sufficient for you.”
You have no idea how much comfort that can bring. And it would be something that only you could say. No one else could say those words with the same kind of credibility.
The apostle Paul, who had his own serious issues with suffering, as I have said, wrote, “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. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:3-5, NLT).
God will give you that comfort—over and beyond what you can personally contain—so that you can share it with others.