“God comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. So, when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your benefit … so that we can be an encouragement to you.” (2 Corinthians 1:4 & 6) [NLT]
Your Painful Experiences Will Not Be Wasted If You’ll Share Four Things:
1. Share how pain got your attention.
“Hard times and trouble are God’s way of getting our attention!” (Job 36:15) [CEV]
When Sharing About Your Pain…
□ … be open about your feelings.
“We have spoken frankly to you; we have opened our hearts wide.” (2 Corinthians 6:11b) [TEV]
□ … be humble about your faults. “Each of us must bear the faults and burdens of his own. For none of us is perfect!” (Galatians 6:5) [LB]
□ … be frank about your failures. “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” (1 Timothy 1:15b) [NIV]
□ … be honest about your frustrations. “I have the desire to do what is right, but I cannot carry it out … I keep on doing the evil I don’t want to do.” (Romans 7:18–19)
□ … be candid about your fears. “I do admit that I have fears that when I come you’ll disappoint me and I’ll disappoint you, and in frustration with each other everything will fall to pieces…” (2 Corinthians 12:20) [MSG]
2. Share what you’ve learned from your pain.
“Sometimes it takes a painful situation to make us change our ways.” (Proverbs 20:30) [TEV]
□ I’ve learned to depend more on God. “We were really crushed and overwhelmed … and saw how powerless we were to help ourselves; but that was good, for then we put everything into the hands of God, who alone could save us … and he did help us …” (2 Corinthians 1:8b–10) [LB]
□ I’ve learned to trust and obey God’s word. “ … it was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me to pay attention to your laws.” (Psalm 119:71) [LB]
□ I’ve learned I need other people. “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2) [NIV]