How true it is that problems in our own lives often help make us sensitive to the problems in the lives of other people! God intends to use our problems as a platform to minister to others. This is the case that the apostle Paul is making in this passage. God comforts us in the midst of our affliction so that we may be able to comfort someone else who is in pain. In the next verse, he says, “For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.”
In other words, God has to work in us before He can work through us. Consider some examples of this from Scripture, such as Job and David, or Abraham and Joseph. None of these men were exempt from pain and problems. And yet their problems often became the means by which their character was proven. They’re now able to minister to generations of others who would follow. Ultimately, even the Lord Jesus suffered to bring blessing to millions who would trust in Him for salvation.
Have you ever thought of your struggles as being the means by which you are able to minister to someone else? Some of the greatest encouragers in the churches that I have served have been faithful men and women who knew the depths of suffering. The grace of God is on display in their lives in a powerful way as they minister to other people from their own pain. The next time you experience pain, ask the Lord to help you use it as a platform to minister to someone else.
For more, read 2 Corinthians 1:1-11.
(shared from brandonware.org)