“Rejoice in Your Sufferings”, that’s easy for you to say. You don’t know what I’m going through.” You are absolutely right I have no idea what you are going through, no one does but the person going through it.
However I do know, nothing happens that is outside of God’s ultimate will. That is not to say that in some instances our pain is not a result of consequences of our own actions but never the less they come from God. Job’s troubles were caused by Satan but allowed by God. The Creator of the universe would not be all powerful and all knowing, which He is by the way, if He was not able to control anything and everything.
Personal adversity and suffering give us a new perspective, a new compassion for others who are in similar situations that are causing them pain. Someone who has suffered can share and listen empathically offering emotional support with genuine understanding compassion to another person who is experiencing the same kind of adversity. I would suggest the most effective person to share with someone diagnosed with cancer would be a cancer survivor, because they can say, “I know what you are going through. I know what it is like to hear that news. Let me share with you what I did. Let me share with you how I have been able to get through this.” Just as a person who has lost a loved one, will be that much more effective to someone else who has lost a loved one. They know what it is like.
Your greatest compassions flow out of the pain from your heart— not out of your strengths or your talents but out of the painful experiences of your life. It is your weaknesses that God is able to use you to help other people in their need, not your strengths.
A very good example of this is the apostle Paul. In 2 Corinthians 1, Paul says that he was at a time of his life when he was so discouraged that he was ready to throw in the towel, give up. He despaired of life itself so much, he was even ready to give up on life itself. He was ready to crawl under a rock over in a corner somewhere and just curl up and die. Here we have Paul who was probably one of the greatest if not the greatest Christian who ever lived except for Jesus of course.
But in 2 Corinthians 1:2-5: Paul says “I pray that God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you and will bless you with peace! Praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! The Father is a merciful God, who always gives us comfort. He comforts us when we are in trouble, so that we can share that same comfort with others in trouble. We share in the terrible sufferings of Christ, but also in the wonderful comfort he gives.
Don’t allow your pain to be wasted. If you have gone through hardship, if you have gone through adversity or are going through difficulties in life no matter what it is, God can use you to help someone else. God can open up your heart and give you opportunities to be a vessel helping people in ways you never have had or even could dream possible before.
This is one of the things that suffering can bring about in a person’s life, keep in mind nothing ever happens accidentally, by chance to a child of God.