24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints.
— Colossians 1:24-25 ESV

Paul is reminding the Colossians that everything he has been through, current and past suffering, has been used as a means for the advancement of the kingdom. Paul realized that he can rejoice in his suffering and in the moments where he should have no joy, because he knows that the Lord is going to use his story of suffering to make the word of God fully known to different people (end of vs. 25). Because of what he has been through and is currently going through, Paul can be a testament to the saving power of Jesus through His death and resurrection.

your story matters

You have a story and it matters! Your struggles past and present all have the ability to be a testament to the saving power of Jesus. Through you seeking Jesus despite the circumstance of your current life or past struggles, your heart is being made more Holy. You also have the opportunity to tell about your sufferings and invite those around you into the same victory you have experienced or are currently still seeking.

sharing your story

An easy way for you to be a testament to the Gospel of Jesus is by sharing what you have been through and are currently going through with the people around you. That can look like you being vulnerable with your roommate, or sharing in your small group what the Lord has done in your life through a difficult circumstance. If you are currently in a season of suffering, you can share with people around you what is going on, but you still have the hope of Jesus stored in your heart despite the circumstances you find yourself in. 

If you want to read more about the what can happen when we go through trials, you can check out James 1:2-4!

When you are done, ask God to fill you with a hope that knows current and past circumstances, no matter how difficult, can be used to draw you closer to the Lord as well as the people around you. Ask God to help you persevere and fight the enemy as he will try to discourage you and make you doubt the goodness of God. Thank God for what He has brought you through in the past and what He will continue to walk with you through in the present and future.

- Nick Spencer