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In Matthew 22, Jesus was asked about God's greatest commandment. Was it one of the 10 Commandments, or was it one of the statutes in the Mosaic law? Could it be something that God hasn't revealed yet? Jesus said to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind, which is the greatest and first commandment. The second is similar: love your neighbor as yourself, as detailed in Matthe 22:37-39. Regardless of who your neighbor is, we can't love without serving in Jesus' name.

You don't have to look far to find someone who's struggling. It could be a family member, a coworker, a friend, or even the person you see in the mirror every day. We live in a fallen world, so there could be several reasons why someone is suffering. Whether we've had a similar experience or not, how can we be a blessing to someone who's suffering?

What does Jesus show us about blessing those who are suffering?

Ultimately, Jesus is the example we look to for how to live the Christian life, and that includes how we help those who are suffering. He showed several examples of what it looks like to help someone who's struggling, from the man who came through the roof to have his legs healed to the Samaritan woman at the well with her challenging past to the woman with internal bleeding who touched the hem of His garment. Whether Jesus challenged someone to repent, physically healed someone or removed shame, each interaction had a common factor: Jesus showed love and compassion in every instance.

That love speaks volumes to us when we have a chance to help someone else. Regardless of the situation, we must show God's comfort, love, and regard for the person, and we need to do so in the Holy Spirit's power, which comforts us so we can comfort those in trouble. We want to do as much as we can to serve, but we should be mindful that we don't overstep our boundaries or overdo it. Here are some ways we can be a blessing to those who are struggling.

Pray for this person and their situation.

It would be best to start here before you do anything else. God knows their circumstances better than anyone, so ask Him to equip you with the tools to do your best for this person. As you start praying, think about the scriptures you want to share with this person.

Understand the problem.

Talk to the person in need or someone they think you should speak with from their family or another friend. Don't have someone apart from the situation tell you what's wrong or listen to gossip. If you can, do some research to understand how this person might be impacted by their challenges or try to research some resources that might also be a blessing before connecting with the person.

Ask what they need.

Is it tangible necessities, someone to talk to, or are they short-term or long-term? Sometimes, we assume what someone wants and what would be best for them. However, you don't want to start scheduling people to visit someone if they prefer to rest or talk on the phone.

Listen to how these struggles affect them.

It would be best to be slow to speak and even slower to offer advice. Typically, this is what the person needs: someone to hear their story, acknowledge their struggle, and validate them. No one other than God knows how to meet each person's needs, so go to the Bible to find verses about who He is and how He relates to His believers. Nothing is too hard for Him, and this person must know that God is a God of all hope.

Build a team to back you up.

It's easy to feel compassion fatigue quickly, so find other people who want to join you as a blessing to those who are suffering. Ideally, find people who can help without feeling like they have to fix the problem. It would also be best to determine if you can connect them to professional resources, but only do so if you're knowledgeable in this area or know someone who is. Still, if they need a connection to community resources like a homeless shelter or a food pantry, connect with your church to see where to find these resources nearby.

Point them toward Jesus and pray with them.

Give them biblical resources so they can pray by themselves. If they're not believers, ask if you can pray for them anyway. Maybe they're willing to be led in the believer's prayer. Can you find a Christian inspiration book to leave with them? It can be a great reminder of God's care and love that they can read over and over. However, do your best to try not to fix the problem. It's always tempting to do this, but don't try to fix it unless there's something you can do. Be present and offer comfort. For example, you can't cure their cancer, but maybe they need someone to grocery shop for them.

Lastly, you should be consistent. Following this step may require help, especially from your local church. As someone who's suffering, it's difficult to be forgotten after a certain time, so can you make sure they get on a prayer list at church or regularly send cards to them and have others help you do the same? Essentially, these suggestions relate to ministering to those who are suffering at your church, but if you don't have a church or a similar group that helps struggling people, perhaps you could be part of starting one. Ensure that you look after your needs and that everyone in the group supports each other.

It's easy to want to fix people's pain, but be wary of going beyond what God wants you to do. God might be working in this person's life for a specific reason, and while you want to be a blessing, you don't want to get in God's way.

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