2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (ESV)
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.
God allows us, at times, to suffer hardships. God comforts us. The question that we often ask is, “Why?” What is the purpose that God has for our hardships? What is the purpose that God has for what he allows us to go through?
Look above at the opening verses of 2 Corinthians, and see a purpose for our pain that many fail to recognize. Paul, in writing to the church in Corinth, lets the believers know that God comforts us in our afflictions so that we too might comfort others with the comfort that we have received. The simple truth here is that, when we suffer and then receive the comfort of God, God is shaping our lives in such a way that we will then be able to help others through similar pains.
The point that I would have us grab this morning, then, is that we need to not waste our pain. We need to not waste our grief. When we suffer, we will not like it—that is, of course what suffering is. However, when we suffer hardships, God is preparing us for a ministry. God is shaping us for a mission. As we walk through pain, we are made able, by the grace of Christ, to help others who will walk a similar path to ours.
What pains have you experienced? What hardships have you suffered? How might God use your pain and comfort to help others to be comforted in their pain? How might your struggles be used by God to help others to receive the grace of Christ? You are a tool in the hand of the Father. He intends to use how he has shaped you—even through trial—as a way for him to touch other lives with his grace.