Have you ever bought a new car only to suddenly realize that a lot of other people drive that car too? It’s weird. It’s not like tons of people coincidentally purchased the exact same vehicle at the exact same time as you did. It’s actually just your perspective that has changed. Now that you have your shiny new car (or your less-than-shiny used car…sorry, pre-owned car), you become more aware of that particular vehicle all around you.
I feel like the same is true for facing trials. Once you go through a suffering season, your perspective changes in tremendous ways, and you become acutely aware of other hurting people around you.
And let me assure you, there are a lot of hurting (and healing) people around you right now, whether or not you’re aware.
I’m astounded at the number people in my life who have stories to share. Powerful stories filled with deep heartache that dawns with the light of magnificent redemption. I’ve personally been impacted by their testimonies. By God’s grace, I’m changed in some way because of them. My faith in Jesus is stronger now than it was before encountering their journey.
In 2nd Corinthians 1:3-5, the Apostle Paul writes, “3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ,” (emphasis added).
Amazingly, God doesn’t waste our trials. He meets us right in the thick of them. He comforts us with a fatherly compassion. And then, he makes a way for that comfort to overflow from our lives into someone else’s hurting heart. In a miraculous way, it draws us to each other and to Jesus. We receive comfort and Jesus receives glory.
I need to soak in that for a minute…
Suffering binds people to each other. And ultimately it binds us to Jesus, the true suffering servant, who died on the cross to endure our sin, so that we can be free to live at peace with God, even now, with a joyous hope that will carry us into eternity.
Have you gone through something hard? Let God meet you in the dark pit and comfort you with his perfect love. And then, allow that comfort to touch other peoples’ hearts, so that they can experience Jesus too.
I’m honored to begin sharing some beautifully dissonant stories with you in a new series titled “Trusting God Through Trials”. I pray that the words from these precious people will draw you closer to one another and to Jesus.