Being a Student of the Troubles of Others
There are many people in the Bible who went through all different kinds of trouble. Whatever trouble you are facing, there is somebody that you can relate to in the Bible. In fact, I can hardly think of any significant person in the Bible who did not endure a lot of hardship. Think of Ruth and Mary and David and Jeremiah and Elijah. There is so much we can learn from the troubles of others.
I have a friend who likes to think of Ecclesiastes as the book in which Solomon essentially says, "Why learn from your own mistakes when you can learn from mine instead?" There is always something we can learn from the troubles that people face in the Bible.
Learning from the Suffering of Jesus
However, what is most significant to me in my own spiritual experience is understanding the troubles that Jesus went through as the Son of God. As I began thinking about how God was at work in my own life in the difficulties that I was facing, it was comforting to realize that as Jesus moved closer to the cross he said to his disciples things like, "Now is my soul troubled." He starts raising questions like, "Is there not some way for God the Father to work out my circumstance so that I’m not in this trouble?" And yet he ultimately comes to a place of total surrender to the Father, asking that the Father would be glorified in his life.
When we’re going through trouble in the Christian life, there are many things that we discover in Scripture that are helpful. But they are helpful insofar as they point us to Jesus Christ—his sufferings, his troubles, and his triumphs over all those troubles through the cross and the empty tomb.