Note: I thought I posted this last night. I woke up this morning and found it hanging out in my drafts folder, so I am publishing it now. Better late than never! – Daily
So I am painting with a broad brush this evening, but when I came across this verse on the Bible app today, a couple of interesting insights occurred to me.
First, this verse promises that God will comfort us during every difficult season of our lives. Note that the verse says “in all our troubles,” rather than “in just a few of them.” While we may feel like we are alone, there’s never a time when we are outside of the presence of God; consequently, we are available to receive His comfort and care whenever we need it.
Second, it’s clear that the Lord has a purpose in our pain because He wants us to be able to provide Christ-like comfort to others who are hurting. I look at this as empathy – the ability to connect with somebody around a shared personal experience. When you have gone through an issue that somebody else is struggling with, you immediately have more “street cred” with the person because you’ve gone through it as well.
Put another way, God comforts me so that I can repurpose my pain (and comfort) and help encourage and speak words of hope over someone else.
Of course, this process works only if we agree to participate in it. We always have the option to refuse the care of God, and many do. Also, we can focus exclusively on getting our own emotional and material needs met, and not be concerned about the well-being of others. This also is not uncommon. Either way, we (intentionally or intentionally) diminish the work that God is doing through us to touch the lives of others, so they too might experience His love and comfort.
When we are going through really painful times, there is a process of grief that should be observed and reexpected. Otherwise, if we fail to recognize the extent of the pain that we are experiencing, we can unwittingly shortchange our own healing process and leapfrog ourselves into the world of denial. And that is not good!
So if you’re in a painful situation now, recognize your pain and continue to work through the stages of grief. Remember that God is right there beside you, and you can always talk to Him about whatever is on your mind.
But if God has brought you through a difficult season – and you find yourself in a position where you can be of some help or benefit to someone else who is hurting – and don’t be afraid to let Him use you. You’ll be amazed at what He does can you open your heart and mind to be of service to others.
Dear Lord, I thank You for this lesson about the purpose of pain. Pain is a necessary – but often difficult – part of life, but it is also very instructive. Thank You for this reminder that pain serves a purpose when we completely surrender it over to You, and allow You to transform us so that we can further your kingdom purposes.
Thank You for comforting us, so that we can comfort others. This is not always easy, but I believe it is what you’ve called each one of Your children to do. In Your name I pray, Amen.