“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, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” -2 Corinthians 1:3-4
I love this verse; it has always been my favorite of anything that I’ve read from the bible. I can absolutely relate to this verse, because I feel like it is speaking to me and always does speak to me no matter how many times I read it, this is my life verse. This is why I believe I’m here. This is why I’m alive, and this is why I believe that you are here.
I’ve many a time thought about my life, about the things I’ve been through, and about my past and thought “how am I even alive? How am I still standing? How have I not committed suicide or tried to end my life? How come no matter what I still haven’t completely given up?” and I think the answer to those questions and more lies in this verse. God has a plan and a purpose for all of us. no matter what you’ve been through, no matter what you’ve endured, or struggled with, done wrong, no matter what….God still has a plan!
The thing is….life is hard, sometimes it’s really hard. And sometimes it’s plain and simply….unbearable. To say that I’ve endured some difficult things in my life feels to me like the biggest understatement I could ever possibly make. For me, that just doesn’t begin to cover it. From addiction to abuse (of ALL kinds) to just plain living a life of disappointment, struggling with many issues such as spiritual issues, depression, anger, etc. I really couldn’t possibly ever go into everything I’ve ever struggled with or that has made my life difficult, and I wouldn’t even try to do that. My point is simply, that life can be hard….very hard. And for me personally, I’ve had my fair share of “unbearable moments”. And I’m sure you have to. Some people might have had it easier than me or struggled with different kinds of issues or even less issues, while others may have struggled with way more. That isn’t the point. It doesn’t matter who you are, or what you’ve been through. My point though is that pain is extremely prevalent in this fallen world. It’s rampant. No matter where you go, or where you are at any moment, if you open your eyes you can see pain all around you. It’s been here since Adam and Eve first sinned. And it will be here until Jesus comes back and takes us to be home with Him. That is just how it is. We all feel pain; I don’t think there is any person you can come across who can honestly tell you that they don’t know the feeling of pain, that they have never experienced it. We all know that feeling, we’ve all felt it, and we’ve all been there. We are in this together.
I’ve struggled with depression almost since birth, or at least that’s what the people who have known me the longest tell me. Depression is a funny thing, and by that I actually mean the complete opposite of funny. But it sort of forces you to block out the positive….and you don’t even realize it. You don’t know it. You can’t see the positive anymore, you can’t see clearly. You just feel stuck in your pain, you feel like you will never see past it, that there is no point in it all, no hope, no….nothing. It’s an extremely debilitating disease and an extremely saddening thing to have to go through.
To stay in control of your disease, of your own mind, of yourself, you have to constantly fight it. You have to force yourself to be positive; you have to force yourself to find hope and purpose. Your brain tells you one thing, God tells you another, and you have to force yourself to listen to God and not your “feelings”. My own depression is undoubtedly one of the major things that lead me to addiction, that along with my life, and the abuse and molestation I had endured. When you’ve had a hard life and your brain is telling you that there is no hope and no positive in life, that all there is in life is this unbearable pain. It’s extremely easy to get sucked into pornography addiction. It was really easy for me. Unfortunately, it’s not at all easy to get out of though. Which is sort of ironic. You start because you need an escape you want some freedom, you want to feel better, you want a way out of your pain, even if only for a moment. So it starts out as just that. It starts pretty simple a picture here or there. But eventually it will get worse and worse, deeper and deeper and more and more extreme and the next thing you know you’re trapped. And you are farther away than you ever wanted to be. Your sucked in and enslaved by the very thing that you were using to escape life, the very thing you were using to find freedom. Ironic, isn’t it?
And you start to get discouraged and you start to wonder “what is the point of this?” “Why am I still struggling after trying time and time again to get out?” “How is this going to help anything?”
I’ve wondered that so many times. I’ve prayed, I’ve read the bible, I’ve tried recovery program after program. Why am I still struggling? And God how is this going to help myself, or anyone else? What is the point of this? How is this going to show your glory or advance your kingdom?
I’ve always been told that there is a reason for everything. I’ve heard those cheesy cliché phrases like “if God will bring you to it, God will bring you through it”. I’ve heard that everything that God allows to happen, he allows to happen so that it can help someone, or bring him glory, or advance his kingdom…something like that. But when I’m stuck in that junk….it so hard to comprehend any of that, or see a purpose, to see anything positive about anything.
But then I look at verses like 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, and I find my purpose in life, and I believe that purpose is also yours. In a different way of course, since we don’t all go through the same things. But the point is the same.
I believe with all of my heart that God doesn’t just let us go through things like addiction or depression or amything else just for the heck of it. I believe wholeheartedly in the message of this verse. What do I believe that message is?
It’s pretty simple. We all go through pain and hardships in our lives. But God doesn’t let it end there, and we shouldn’t either. He lets us go through these things for a very distinct purpose…..to help others. If I’d have never gone through something, and then someone else has…it is much harder for me to help that person, relate to that person, etc. of course you can encourage that person, no matter what. But it’s much more effective if you can say “I know. I’ve been there too. I know what you are going through”. Isn’t that what we all want to hear? It’s pretty simple really, but still amazingly profound. We all want to hear that we are not alone in this world. That someone understands. We all want that. I believe with all of heart that whatever you have gone through or are going through or are going to go through, God isn’t letting that happen just to torture you. If you will let him I believe he can take that, bring you through it and then you can help others dealing with that same very thing. I mean, if you would have asked me several years ago if I thought at this point in my life my biggest passion would be pornography or sex addiction recovery. If the thing I want more than anything else, would be to help others out of this horrible lifestyle. If you’d told me that, I most definitely would tell you that you’d lost your mind. That’s the thing here. I didn’t at all choose this….it chose me. And I believe that God let it happen so that I can use my voice. And I can encourage someone else on the same road as me. That is my purpose. Me and you, we’ve had different experiences, gone through different things, had different lives. But no matter what it is that you’ve gone through, no matter what has changed your life for the worse, God can absolutely use that to advance the kingdom, to bring others to him, to help others out of those tough situations. And I Thank God for that! I thank God that I can tell others about what I’ve been through and I can encourage them to get out of their pornography addictions and I can encourage others to not get involved with pornography in the first place. I’m glad my life isn’t pointless. I’m glad I have a purpose.
So do you. Your pain has a purpose. You are here for a reason.
Fight those voices that tell you that it is pointless, that there is nothing outside of your pain. The same voice that whispers to those who are depressed, whispers to those involved in addiction. It’s all the same. Fight this. Stand up and fight! Let God comfort you through your troubles, and then comfort someone else. That’s your purpose.