We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. – 2 Corinthians 1:8
Paul was a man who loved God. He wanted nothing more than to exalt Jesus. Yet this servant of God often had to deal with suffering in his life.
He says in 2 Corinthians 4:8-10: ‘We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.’
2 Corinthians 11:24-28 also shows us Paul’s very human-like experiences. His life was full of suffering. Maybe you have also called out to God and said: ‘why Lord?’
Paul teaches us a bit about this why. When we suffer, we will have compassion for people who also go through the same. Paul speaks about the God of consolation who comforts us in our troubles in 2 Corinthians 1:3-6. So, we will be able to comfort and encourage those who are struggling, with the same comfort we have received from God.
If I have a deep pain in my heart, I do not go to the psychiatrist or read a do-it-yourself book, but I go to Him who said: ‘Come to Me.’ I will also be strengthened and comforted if I am able to go to a brother or sister who has also suffered similarly but is completely recovered through faith. Such people have a lot of understanding and love which they have received in their darkest hours. Suffering produces a wealth of knowledge of God!
Another purpose of suffering is that you learn never to trust yourself, but to trust God. Put yourself in God’s hands. He will never let you down!