January 20: Experience and Ministry

Read 2 Corinthians 1:1-11

There are probably some of your life experiences you wouldn’t care to repeat. But, I wonder, would you agree with me that your life experiences . . . even the negative ones . . . have positioned you to be more sensitive to certain things and certain types of people?

If we consider Paul’s story as written in 2 Corinthians 1, we discover that he experienced hardship and suffering to an extent that was beyond his human ability to endure. In fact, he thought he was going to die. But the results of those desperate experiences are worth noting.

  1. Paul learned to rely on God. Desperate circumstances have a way of doing that with all of us. Have you learned to turn to God in the midst of the experiences of your life?
  2. Paul experienced God’s deliverance and comfort in the face of sorrow. The Lord can take a hopeless, dark night and transform it into a hope-filled, bright morning. When have you been on the receiving end of that kind of divine encouragement?
  3. Paul saw his experience as something that equipped him to bless others. As the recipient of God’s comfort, we become a conduit that can deliver that to others. How are you positioned to do that for people you encounter?

Bottom line, Paul’s experiences had uniquely positioned him to have a ministry of encouragement to the people in Corinth. As you consider both the positive and the negative experiences of your life, remember that God can leverage those experiences from your life in order that you might better serve others. This includes your highest highs, lowest lows, and everything between. Even your bad decisions, your good decisions, and “the jury is still out” decisions of your life allow you to be a voice that weeps with those who weep, rejoices with those who rejoice, or warns those about to make the same mistake you have made! Use your experiences as a well-spring for effective ministry.


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