A few weeks ago Pastor Brian spoke on “How to Deal with Suffering”. This really ministered to me because honestly life has not been easy lately. I had reached out for prayer with a trusted friend and unfortunately it was a conversation more about them. I was surprised because I know they loved me and really cared, but I came away from that conversation more frustrated than encouraged. As I have pondered Brian’s teaching and considered the different points Pastor Brian talked about: I was reminded due to my recent experience of not only how I deal with suffering but also how I help others who are suffering.
Fast-forward a few days when a situation at work occurred that was a teachable moment for me, my response was threefold. I reviewed, researched, and thanked the person for an opportunity to learn and grow. Now put that situation, my own recent experience with reaching out for prayer and my pondering about suffering together and it got me thinking. I don’t recall in many many years evaluating after I minister to another. I pray for them but I don’t evaluate my actions. Every ministry opportunity is a teachable moment! So I considered if I am a disciple, a follower and learner of Jesus I need to continue to learn and grow by reviewing and researching the scripture how I minister and how I can minister more effectively in the power of the Holy Spirit.
I began to ask myself these questions: Do I pray with freshness asking the Holy Spirit to lead me? Did I pray out of habit and just in my own ability? Did I really need God in my prayer? If you have ministered for a long time, I think you will understand these questions. Please don’t get me wrong, I love people and I very much want to be God’s comforting and merciful hands to others; but I have ministered a long time and I’m definitely not perfect but I do want to grow and learner and understand more of the depth of God’s mercy. I also believe many others want to do the same and we need to learn together.
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles with the comfort we ourselves received from God.”
So here is a challenge, the next time you minister to someone evaluate later what you did right and what you could have done better? What would you do differently? Did that person walk away loved and comforted?
God uses our hurts, our experience, our failures and our victories to minister to others. Ask God by the Holy Spirit to lead you and reveal to you more of His heart of comfort.
Remember every person is different, has a different story and situation, background, emotional and mental stability – so we need to learn and grow so that we can comfort others, “with the comfort we ourselves received from God”
From my heart to yours,