Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
—2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Paul speaks openly of the tribulation, the suffering, and the affliction he experienced as a follower of Jesus Christ. He was not immune from trouble. Trouble followed Paul wherever he went—all because he proclaimed Jesus.
When suffering comes, we have a choice to make.
Good people do suffer. Scripture affirms it. So when suffering comes—and it will—we have a choice to make. We can disregard God's character and say, "Well, if that is how God is going to treat me, then I don't believe He loves me anymore." Or, we can trust Him and cling to Him even tighter. We can say, "Oh God, I know You really love me. I don't understand what is happening, Lord, but I trust You."
Paul realized that God used his sufferings to give him sympathy so that he could minister to others going through similar experiences. The same is true with us. When we go through trials or tragedies, we understand how others feel when they face their own losses, and we are better able to reach out.
Suffering gives us a history with the Holy Spirit. We learn that He is the Comforter. We learn that He is faithful to strengthen us for the trial. And we, in turn, can share that comfort and strength with others who need it.
Lord, teach us the value of trusting You completely. May we accept the ministry of Your Holy Spirit, and share it with others. In Jesus' name, amen.