STOP AND THINK – None … are so unable to sympathize as those who have never had trouble themselves—and none are so able to feel as those who have drunk most deeply the cup of pain and sorrow. (J. C. Ryle, 19th century Anglican bishop)

Haven’t you found it so? It’s difficult to sympathize with someone who is going through great trials, when you have no understanding of personal troubles. However, most of us have had difficulties at one time or another, so we can appreciate another’s trouble and can offer meaningful help, because we’ve been there and understand.

[God] comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Corinthians 5:4)