by Wade E Taylor
“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” II Corinthians 1:3-4
There are many Christians who have been unintentionally hurt by a minister, or by another Christian. These hurting Christians drawback, refusing to again expose their need, and consequently become spiritually crippled. If they had the understanding that there was a higher “purpose” in this, then the negative consequences could be avoided and their fellowship among Christians enhanced.
“But He knows the way that I take: when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” Job 23:10
Thus, it is important for us to understand a spiritual principle that applies to the present workings of the Lord, so we will know how to better respond to the difficult situations in which we find ourselves.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
There is a present need for “overcomers” – those who have risen above a hurt or misunderstanding, and did not become bitter or vindictive. As a result, these overcomers have become compassionate and understanding, and have a desire to bring healing to those who have been wounded, and as a result have withdrawn from fellowship with the Body of Christ.
If you are burdened to minister in this area of critical need, you must be willing to subject your life to circumstances, or to dealings which are beyond that which is required for your own spiritual discipline and walk. This is necessary so you will be able to compassionately relate to the trials of those who are wounded or deeply hurt, and then, understand how to help them.
Preparation for this ministry is “above and beyond” all that is required to bring us into the “measure of the stature and image of Christ.”
“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:13
Therefore, those who desire this ministry must give the Lord permission to take them through the necessary trials, so they will be prepared to understand and relate to the needs of wounded and hurting Christians.
In the Garden of Eden, the enemy told Eve that if she and Adam would partake of the tree of the “knowledge of good and evil,” they would gain the right to be “as gods.” That is, they would receive the right to do as they pleased (Genesis 3:3-5). They partook and died spiritually, losing their relationship of total dependence upon the Lord.
The right that was gained in the Garden of Eden to choose for ourselves, remains with us, even after our sins are forgiven and cleansed through the blood of Jesus. Therefore, we function on the lower level of the “knowledge of good and evil,” doing what we feel to be right and best.
Many times, we fall short of true understanding, and we hurt the spiritual walk of others through our sincere, but faulty counsel.
The Lord recognizes this “right” that we gained in the Garden of Eden through Adam’s transgression, to choose for ourselves between good or evil. However, we can give up the right to do as we please by taking up our cross and submitting ourselves to the Lord’s will.
“…If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24
The “if” tells us that we ourselves must choose to submit our will to Jesus, and die to our right to ourselves. Otherwise, we will continue in our own ways. When I began to understand this, I turned aside and prayerfully gave back to the Lord the right to do as I choose – judging for myself what is good or evil (right or wrong). Then, I unconditionally submitted my life to His Lordship, and I began to look to Him to make these choices for me.
When I made Jesus the “Lord” of my life, I gave Him the right to deal with me as He chooses for whatever purpose He may have. Over the many years that I have known the Lord, I have learned that many times He has used this submission of my life to Him in order to prepare me to minister to another.
The circumstances that He takes us through for this purpose are usually apart from, and completely different than any need that we may have within our own life experience. However, these experiences will “qualify” us to become an instrument in His hand to help and encourage others.
“Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we may be able to comfort those experiencing any trouble with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” II Corinthians 1:3-4 NET Bible
We are to “comfort those who are hurting with the comfort with which we ourselves have been comforted.” This means that when we experience a similar circumstance, we are enabled to help others, because of the help that we ourselves have received from the Lord.
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15
Now, through our being able to relate to the “help” that we received from the Lord, we can impart to those who hurt, an understanding of the way through. This also helps us to remain humble, and reminds us that we have no right to judge, or to be critical, thus giving us a pure spirit of compassion toward those who are hurting.
Very often, the “trials” that we go through are for the benefit of others. If we fail to recognize this, we may react and come short of becoming a “vessel prepared” to help others through their tribulation. We are only qualified to minister to others after we have been tested and proven to be faithful; otherwise our ministry will be harsh and vindictive.
A Christian who has been through the dealings of the Lord, and ministers through a broken and contrite spirit, will draw many to the Lord, and see lives inwardly healed and changed. There is great satisfaction, along with a sense of purpose and attainment, that comes with this.
There is an urgent need for this ministry in our day. Are you willing to do your part?