“Blessing others is the way to increase prosperity, and blessing others when in adversity is the way to remove it.” — Source Unknown
“Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.” — Source Unknown
“Whatever you say, whatever you do, bounces off others and comes back to you.” — Source Unknown
“And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:42).
Here is one the most profound instances of ministering in adversity. Jesus is in agony, hanging on the Cross. He had been rejected by the religious establishment, betrayed by Judas, forsaken by His disciples, mocked by the soldiers, and scorned by a criminal on a cross. One of the criminals crucified beside Jesus begs for mercy, “Remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” As Jesus is dying a substitutionary death on Calvary, He is ministering to a man who has been justly sentenced to death! The agonies He was enduring did not hinder Him from comforting this man. He assures him with the words, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” No man has ever been in a worse position than Christ on the Cross. Yet, He seized the opportunity to help an outlaw.
You receive strength as you strengthen others. This is especially true when you are suffering adversity. You can curtail your sorrows by ministering to others. One benefit of caring for others is that it allows you to focus on someone else, instead of on your own situation. It gets your mind off your predicament. Helping others is always a good way to alleviate your troubles. When Joseph was in prison, he helped others. His readiness to be of assistance was indicative of his character, and what he did for others ultimately led to his release from prison. What you do for others, God will do for you. “Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord” (Eph. 6:8). The slightest encouragement you offer is not only heard in Heaven, but is also rewarded on earth.
David comforted Bathsheba over the loss of their child. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, he assisted his wife in her grief. One of the evidences that a person has experienced forgiveness is that he considers the needs of others. Never let your problems keep you from helping someone else. I remember sitting in the waiting room for a bone scan. Others were sitting there quietly staring into space. None of us knew what our tests might reveal. The look of concern was on every face. The silence in that place was eerie, so I spoke to a man and engaged him about his health concerns. He shared with me, and I shared with him. If I remember correctly, we prayed together, and we both felt better.
“Compassion” is defined as a sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress with a desire to alleviate it. It literally means “fellow sufferer.” Suffering uniquely qualifies and equips you to assist fellow sufferers. Compassion is having the desire and ability to aid others who are in hardship. Ministering to others in need is therapeutic. If you are hurting, reach out to help someone who is hurting also. When you have a disease, seek to minister to others who are ill. If you are feeling down, find someone worse off than yourself and bless them in some way. If you are depressed, make it your mission to lift another’s burden. The hard place where you find yourself is an indication that you should lighten the load of someone else. Don’t turn in on yourself when problems arise. Refuse to isolate yourself from those in need. You may not have the strength to do much, but you can do something. A kind word to those taking care of you is one thing you can do. Since the closest friendships are born in adversity, use your problems to minister to other hurting people. Problems are the glue that joins hearts together. Your ministry to others will build them up and you as well.
- Do you view your current adversity as an opportunity for ministry?
- Are you refusing to isolate yourself in adversity?
- Is there someone in your life that needs encouragement today?
This chapter was written by Evangelist Harold Vaughan.
It is taken from the book “Extraordinary Strength in Adversity”