How to Help the Suffering

In II Corinthians 1: 4 Paul refers to his “tribulation,” then of “trouble,” in verse 5 he makes reference to his “sufferings,” and in verse 6 he admits he is “afflicted.”

Does that sound like your testimony? Do you ever feel like God has forgotten you?

Little Timmy was attending school for the first time. He was shy and nervous. He asked to call home. The teacher helped him place the call. When his mother answered he was so upset he couldn’t speak. He only snubbed. Not hearing a voice, his mother answered, “Hello, who is this?” The little fellow burst into tears sobbing, “This is Timmy. Have you forgotten me already?”

Who among us hasn’t felt like crying out at some time like the Psalmist (25:16): “Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.”

Tragically much human suffering is caused by friends. This was the case of Paul. He was imperfect and his fellow believers capitalized on his imperfection. The entire book of II Corinthians is an explanation of his true calling.

Mark the year A.D. 391. The city Rome, Italy. The character involved was named Telemachus, a resident of a small rural village. He had been led to Rome by the Lord. He followed the surging crowd and ended up in the Colosseum. In amazement he heard the gladiators stand before the emperor and say, “We who are about to die salute you.”  Only then did he realize that they were about to fight to the death for the entertainment of the crowd. He shouted out, “In the name of Christ, STOP.” The noise of the crowd almost drowned him out.

As the games began he pushed his way through the crowd and eventually dropped to the floor of the arena. This tiny little man continued to shout, “In the name of Christ, STOP!”

The crowd thought he was a part of the show and laughed at first. They realized he wasn’t and became angry. As he pleaded with the gladiators to stop one plunged his sword into his body. He fled to the stand and as he lay dying his last words were: “In the name of Christ, stop!”

Then a strange thing happened. A hush fell over the crowd as the gladiators stood and looked at that tiny little man lying there. In the upper rows a man stood and made his way to the exit. Others followed. A dead silence gripped the crowd as others filed out.

The year A.D. 391 and that was the last battle to the death in the Roman Colosseum. Never again did men kill men for the entertainment of the crowd. This happened all because of one small voice that could hardly be heard above the crowd. One small voice — one life — that spoke the truth in Christ’s name: STOP!

Many people are suffering. Isn’t there a voice to say, “In the name of Christ, STOP!”