Suffering Brings the Capacity to Empathize with Others

Suffering Brings the Capacity to Empathize with Others

Blessed be God… Who comforteth 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. —2 Corinthians 1:3-4
After the Lord called me to His work, I endured some great soul conflicts. In them, I suffered inexpressibly. I almost despaired at times, but I look back upon those things now as being the things that made me understand the human heart, that gave me a broader sympathy—and have since enabled me to enter into the sorrows and needs of others, to minister comfort and help as I could not otherwise have done. Those early sufferings unlocked a thousand mysteries and enriched not only my own life but also the lives of others. Endure these things with patience, for out of them will come to you that which is more precious than gold. If you do not suffer, you can be of little use to those who do suffer. The promise is, “If we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him.”

Abraham suffered in that one supreme sacrifice [of his son, Isaac], but his example of faithfulness in the test has enriched millions of souls. Job suffered not only physical agony but the keenest and deepest of spiritual agony, yet that suffering was only an opportunity for God to manifest His mercy and kindness. How much Job learned of God by enduring through these dark days, and how much the world has learned! If we should take out of the Bible the record of suffering and its results that are written there, we should take out of it all that is best and noblest and most helpful and encouraging. How much poorer we should be if the sacred record told only of joy and peace and comfort, if it spoke only of victory and achievement and told us nothing of the hard road that leads up to them! If the Lord chastises us, it is “for our profit;” if God smites, it is only to enrich; so bear with patience, endure as seeing Him who is invisible. Be “patient in tribulation,” drink the cup of your Gethsemane, wear your thorny crown without complaint, endure your Calvary; for unto you is given both to suffer and to reign with Him.

“Heart Talks” by C. W. Naylor

Available for free download here: