There are many things that could be said in response to the question of why God allows trials in our lives, but here is one you might not have considered: God allows trials and hardship in your life so you can help others. As a result, whatever difficulty, challenge or suffering you may be going through need not be wasted.
Paul writes, "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. Even 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 Cor. 1:4-6, NLT).
There is no better time to minister to others than when we are hurting.
It seems that when we are in need, when we are facing crisis, the world should just stop what it is doing and think about us. We think that we need to be cared for, encouraged, even catered to.
But the reality is that when you are hurting, if you will reach out to someone else, you will be replenished and helped.
Jesus said, " Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back" (Luke 6:38, NLT).
There is Always Someone Worse Off Than You
After my beloved son Christopher was called home to heaven, people commended my family and me for continuing to minister, despite our pain over his sudden passing. While I appreciate those kind words, I must tell you that it actually helps me to help others.
My heart goes out to those who are suffering as they never have before, especially if they're dealing with the death of a child. So it helps me to help them. Even writing these words help me, knowing that they may minister to someone, somewhere.
I'm sure you know of someone who is hurting right now. Perhaps they have cancer or have recently lost a loved one or their marriage has unraveled. Go to them, seek to be a friend and encourage them today.
Don't Waste Your Experiences
God is in control of our lives and allows trials to come our way in order to strengthen us spiritually and make us more like Jesus.
Whatever you are facing, know that someone else is facing it too. Perhaps you could share with them some of the things the Lord has shared with you and "be able to give them the same comfort God has given us."
Don't waste your experiences. God can and will use them.
Greg Laurie is the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship with campuses in California and Hawaii.
For the original article, visit harvest.org.
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