Suffering is one of the hardest parts of daily living. No one wants it. No one asks for it. But we should expect it. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 1:5 "For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too." We will experience suffering on earth. Paul said it. Christ said it.
But what's the purpose? There are several reasons presented in Scripture. In 2 Corinthians 1, we know that the purpose of suffering is to share in the sufferings of our Savior and to be of comfort to others.
There is no doubt suffering is hard. We wish we could avoid it. But in a fallen world, when we meet people who have experienced similar suffering and persevered through it, we borrow their strength and leverage their hope.
Your suffering is not meaningless. It is an honor to suffer as Christ suffered and a privilege to comfort those who are suffering now.
Reflect:What's the relationship between God's ability to comfort and our ability to comfort others? Why is it a privilege to share abundantly in Christ's suffering?
Respond:How can you comfort someone who is hurting? How can you share hope with them today?