BY RICK WARREN

 

“In everything we do we show that we are God’s servants by patiently enduring troubles, hardships, and difficulties.”

2 Corinthians 6:4 (GNT)

We often think that the world is impressed with our success and how we enjoy our prosperity. But they’re actually more impressed by how we as Christians handle adversity.

When you’re going through pain, non-believers around you are watching you. They’re wondering what it means to be a Christian when you’re in the same kind of pain they are. Does it look any different?

The truth is, we have the same pain as everybody else. We just have a different source of comfort.

Your successes don’t give you credibility. Your suffering gives you credibility. The more honest and vulnerable you are about the suffering in your life, the more powerful your impact will be in people’s lives.

The apostle Paul was a pro at using his pain to model his message. He says in 2 Corinthians 6:4, “In everything we do we show that we are God’s servants by patiently enduring troubles, hardships, and difficulties” (GNT).

Your deepest life message will come out of your deepest pain. The world doesn’t need to see Christians who are perfect or have it all together. They need something real and authentic. They need to see Christians who are patient in pain, who walk faithfully in suffering.

Every area of your life where you’ve experienced pain is a testimony. Has God helped you work your way out of deep debt? That was painful—but it’s also a testimony. Has God helped you patiently endure chronic pain? That’s a testimony. Anywhere you’ve had pain and experienced God’s help is a testimony.

I beg you not to waste your pain; don’t waste your hurt. People all around you are going through the very thing you’ve already gone through, and they need your help. They need you to comfort them.

The greatest witness of God’s love in all of history was not Jesus’ perfect life, his sermons, his miracles, or his stories. It was his suffering.

God can use your faithfulness in suffering to great effect in someone’s life. In fact, your faithfulness in suffering could be your greatest witness!