Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Have you ever wondered why you have so many troubles? (I am assuming you have them; I don't know what to say to people who never have any troubles.) Why do your prayers sometimes get answered with a "No!" when you begged the Lord for a "Yes!"?
The really important people in the world are those who have troubles, whose prayers are sometimes not answered as they want, the people who suffer disappointments and pain, yes, even poor people, even persecuted people. There is something in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 that helps us understand.
Our heavenly Father permits us to have these painful experiences for two main reasons:
(1) So we can learn compassion for others. We live in a world that is full of suffering, where people need sympathy and comfort. The Lord has no way to comfort those people and encourage them unless He can find some people who share His compassion, His feelings for them. So your heavenly Father permits you to feel a need for His comfort and encouragement precisely so you can give comfort and encouragement to someone else! "He helps us in all our troubles, so that we are able to help others who have all kinds of troubles, using the same help that we ourselves have received from God," says Paul (Good News Bible).
(2) By knowing pain and suffering we discover that we have fellowship with the Son of God, the Savior of the world. Verse 5 says: "We have a share in Christ's many sufferings." That's how you and I get to know Him! As soon as you learn to believe this Good News, your sufferings and your pain are invested with a new meaning: you see that they are not in vain. They enable you to experience fellowship with Christ, and fellowship with God's children who suffer. When you help them, you help Christ.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: July 6, 1998.
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