Are You Suffering From Pain?
This is one of my all-time favorite verses. The apostle Paul was an expert when it came to troubles and he knew a lot about suffering. He wrote in 2 Corinthians 1:8–9, "We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead."
Praise God for Paul’s honest, sincere admission: “We didn't think we would live through this. We thought we were going to die. So here is what we did. We stopped relying on ourselves and instead started relying on God”. I chose this Bible version because it explains his feelings so clearly.
Paul also said that we should take the comfort that we have received from the Lord and share it with others: "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 1:4–5).
There are many kinds of pain and they all can be debilitating to the point that we have no strength left and we think to ourselves, we’re not going to make it through this, but we do. The worse pain I have ever witnessed from others was the death of a child. Parents, siblings and grandparents are just devastated, the pain is too great to describe unless you have been through it. That is real pain! Only those who have gone through it can understand that pain and God says, “After you have received comfort then go and comfort others going through the same pain.”
I think we would have a different perspective or outlook on our pain if we could see what real pain is. I’m not saying your pain is not real. There may be someone reading this who is really suffering. But I think a lot of times our suffering isn't as bad as we think it is. We need perspective.
I have gone to the hospital several times to visit people who were dying, and they did a better job of ministering to me than I did ministering to them. They would share what the Lord is showing them through the Scripture, how He is making His comfort known to them, and how He is strengthening them. And I walked out with a new perspective because those people helped me.
Twenty or so years ago I was going through a trial that had caused me a lot of emotional pain and I was truly suffering. I got a call from a friend whose Brother had just died, and I had to go over to meet with the family and I was in bad shape emotionally, I was in pain. But it was my duty, it was what God had called me to do, minister to others. So, I went and instead of me ministering to them, they ministered to me and they didn’t even know it. When I saw their pain, I realized that my pain wasn’t that bad. In other words, I had a different outlook.
The moral of the story is this. When God comforts you and brings you through your pain, then you help minister to those who are going through what you just went through. God Bless!