One of the things that concerns me about venturing out to minister to people who are very different from be is that we won't be able to relate to one another. I have lived a very sheltered, good-two-shoes kind of life. And, frankly, sometimes I am shocked by the stuff that goes on in the world. (I try not to let my shock show, but it's definitely there.)
So I wonder how I'll be able to help someone who has a drug addiction when I've never even seen an illegal drug! How can I encourage someone who is living in the midst of the party scene when I've never even been to that kind of party? Will they listen to me? (Just like I might not listen to parenting help from a person who's never had children.)
God knows my concerns. And this week I read in 2 Cor. 1:4 that God comforts me in my troubles so I can share His comfort with others in ANY kind of trouble! ALL kinds of troubles! I looked up the definition for the Greek word for all or any in that verse. Here's what I learned: the Greek word pas means, "any, all, every kind of." So God's comfort to me translates into comfort for people in any and every kind of trouble. I am not limited to sharing God's comfort only with those whose afflictions mirror my own! Praise God! When I am being led by my Father, He can use me to share His comfort with someone totally different from me who has experienced troubles I can't even imagine. Because it's not about my troubles; it's about my God! It's not about my own ability to sympathize or comfort others; it's about allowing His comfort to flow through me. He longs to comfort all of us. And He can use any of us who are willing to do just that.
Who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2Cor. 1:4 NASB