Monday, February 1, 2016

Everybody Hurts For Everybody

How do you respond when trouble hits? Do you get angry, fearful, resentful, anxious or depressed? Do you withdraw? Do you compartmentalize? Do you lean on others?

Everybody hurts sometime. REM said so. And our experience tells us so. We suffer and we've seen the people around us suffer.

Questions swim around in our mind when we wade through stormy waters:

  • Why is this happening to me?
  • What did I do to deserve this?
  • Is God angry with me?
  • How is this going to end?


Rarely (or never) do we ask a more important question:

  • How might others benefit from my suffering?


Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 1:
If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

Paul recognized that his desire to share the Gospel with as many people as possible would inevitably lead to suffering. (It did, he almost died on many occasions before he finally died) He also recognized that his suffering was beneficial for other people.

Somewhere along my own journey (I have no idea when), I read this passage and wrote the following notes in the margin of my Bible.

Everything we go through is in part for the good of others. Whether our situation is good or bad, it can be helpful for someone else. This is God's way of reconciling us not only to Him but also to one another. A question we should ask in every situation is, "For whom am I experiencing this?"... This could be a game-changer.

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