In the last number of days, I have ministered to people who have been carrying tremendous burdens. Their heart is hurting and they are struggling with the “outcomes” of their situation. Things that are beyond their control and they don’t understand. I can relate to that can’t you? You’ve been there. It isn’t easy or fair, but then, life isn’t fair. Everyone has struggles, but they are not without purpose. Paul understood this…
“Praise be to the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” (2 Cor.1:3-4, NIV)
When Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt into the desert toward the Promised Land, he had one problem after another. First there was no water. Then there was no food. Then there were a bunch of complainers. Then there were poisonous snakes. Moses was doing what God wanted him to do, but he still had problems.
David was anointed king, and then for the next several years he was hunted down by Saul. Joseph had a dream of becoming a ruler, yet he was sold into slavery and thrown into prison on a false charge where he languished, forgotten. Imagine the difficulties Noah had building a floating zoo! Jeremiah was a prophet who was mistreated and wanted to die. He never saw one soul won to God and yet all he did was obey God.
The Bible says that when Moses died, Joshua was appointed the new leader. Moses led the people across the desert and then Joshua led them into the Promised Land. Did he get the easy part? The Bible says that when the Israelites entered the Promised Land there were giants in the land. Even in the Promised Land there were problems!
God does this because He is building our faith and character. When we finally come to a place where the difficulties become so difficult, where we’ve reached our limit, where we’ve tried everything and exhausted all our options, it is then that God begins a mighty work through us:
“I know, even though you are temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials and temptations. This is no accident—it happens to prove your faith, which is infinitely more valuable, than gold” (1 Peter 1:6–7 PH).
How? I’m going to use you in your misery to minister to someone else. You will bring comfort and encouragement out of your crisis and heartache to someone else. Your faith will be strengthened. This “hurt of yours” is not going to go to waste. Only I know what you are experiencing says God…”I Know” and I will help you through to the end. (Isa.41:10)
Father we praise you today for your goodness to us. You have promised in your word that your grace is sufficient for any situation. Thank you Lord for the joy of knowing that you KNOW! What comfort there is in knowing that you know! Thank you for the experiences of life that strengthen our faith, while at the same time prepares us, so you can use us to comfort someone else. Knowing that you’ll use my pain and hurt really brings me comfort. Now, help me/us to comfort someone today. To look beyond our situations and get out of our comfort zones and do something for someone who has a need. In the matchless Name Jesus we pray. Amen!