Our wonderful God is a God of suffering and comfort. He knows and understands the trials we go through. Jesus Himself experienced these things. He has sympathy. The Holy Spirit brings comfort. Our comfort we receive from Him is not the end of this process. He calls us to love one another. Sometimes this means weeping with those who weep. Sometimes this means comforting one another, because of our love for the brethren. Sometimes this means bearing one another’s burdens, and thus fulfilling the law of Christ.
Often we can have the sympathy to comfort one another, if we have suffered a little ourselves. The more I have suffered, the more He has made it possible for me to sympathize with, and comfort others. One of the many reasons I am glad for the trials I have gone through, is it has made me see my suffering brothers and sisters with new understanding. The comfort God has given me, I now have to give.
God of All Comfort
by Mike Ratliff
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ESV)
Suffering is part of life. It is part of the curse that fell upon all creation after Adam’s sin. (Genesis 3) There are some preachers who have taken sections of the Bible out of context to make it say that suffering happens only to those who “have sin in their life.” Well, I suppose part of that is true. We all sin. However, the suffering that comes upon us is not necessarily a punishment from God for some specific sin. Our tests and trials are painful and stressful. They are tests of faith just as much as they are sickness or mental problems. In fact, God uses our suffering for His own purposes in our hearts as well as in the hearts of those whom we minister to.
I have never met a Christian who has survived some big trial in their life who was not also eager and able to help others who are going through trials like that of their own.