Shaped Through Experience
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (2 Cor. 1:4)
Along with being shaped by God, the experiences of our life can also be used by God to shape how and what we minister to others. Whether you appreciate it or not, you have been shaped by your experiences in life, most of which were beyond your control. God allowed them for His purpose of molding you.
We value some of our experiences while others, we hope to forget. The very experiences that you have resented or regretted most in life - the ones you’ve wanted to hide and forget - are the experiences God wants to use to help others. We call them ministry. People are always more encouraged when we share how God’s grace helped us in weakness than when we brag about our strengths. In 2 Cor. 1:8-10 NLT Paul wrote,
You ought to know about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us.”
If Paul had kept his experience a secret, we would have never benefited from it. Only shared experiences can help others. Experience happens to all of us. It is important what you do with your experience after the fact that makes the difference. Will you use it to help others or will you waste your pain? Be transparent and allow God to use your experiences to encourage and lift others along the way.
Lord, I do not minimize the experiences that you have sustained me through.
I appreciate every experience that I have gone through.
Use my unique experiences to shape me.
Use the good, bad, and ugly parts of my life to help others.
If you can use my hurts to help others then do it.
Use me to encourage and lift others through my story.
In Jesus’ Name.
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