Another reason God sometimes allows us to be tested and experience hardships is because that helps us understand, sympathize with, comfort, strengthen, and help others who are going through similar things.
That’s what Jesus went through for us. He came to Earth and lived as one of us in order to experience life as we do. He felt disappointment and sorrow, physical pain and anguish of spirit-all so He could better relate to us. He can sympathize with our weaknesses and infirmities, the Bible tells us, because He “was in all points tempted as we are.”(Hebrews 4:15) Having been here Himself, He is able to “comfort us in all our tribulation”-why?-so we “may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”(2 Corinthians 1:4)
He has called us to give of ourselves for others, as He Himself did for us. He causes each of us to go through many of the same difficulties that befall our fellowman in order to make us more compassionate and better equipped to help them. It’s a wonderful but sometimes painful part of making us more like Himself.
Sickness and sorrow come to us all,
But through it we grow and learn to stand tall-
For trouble is part and parcel of life,
And no man can grow without struggle and strife,
And the more we endure with patience and grace
The stronger we grow and the more we can face.
And the more we can face, the greater our love,
And with love in our hearts we are more
The pain and the sorrow in lives everywhere,
So it is through trouble that we learn how to share.
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
–-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow