The best way to respond to another person's suffering is at an emotional level, not a rational one. Respond to emotion with emotion.  I don't mean that we fake an emotional response, or become overly dramatic or animated as we acknowledge their anguish; but rather, we learn to hear with our hearts, rather than dispensing prescriptions.
How a person handles your pain will tell you about their view of God.
When sharing our heartache with others, most of us get a corrective response. Here's what the Corrective Response sounds like:
1. "Here's what the Bible says about that; now just believe it."
2. "Here's my experience and how I handled pain: You should adopt my attitude."
3. "You're over-reacting or too sensitive. It's not as bad as you think it is."
[It may, in fact, not be as bad as they think it is, but telling them so isn't likely to improve their situation or perspective.]
The negative impact of the Corrective Response:
The fallacy here is that reason cannot always heal; and will often make the suffering worse. And reason is a cheap substitute for entering into another's suffering: It takes more energy and love to "weep with those who weep" than offering a rational [and clinical] response to their hurt.
The collateral damage of the corrective response is one of dismissal, which quickly becomes shame: Because your heartache isn't taken seriously, your suffering is leveled as an indictment against you because you're too weak, too faithless, or too sensitive to handle the situation well. Or, so go the assumptions about you.
Suffering is not faithlessness:
Often times, the corrective response is built upon the assumption that your response to pain indicates a lack of faith. The truth is, that while your "flesh may be weak" and faithless; your good and noble heart is not: Your new heart may be growing in trust, but it was equipped with the same confidence in the Father that Jesus himself held onto. "Christ in you" means that there is a very deep part of you that still trusts, despite your very real feelings of abandonment.
Don't see pain as necessarily a lack of faith. Emotions are not always reliable indicators of a person's true inner strength; especially when they themselves are overwhelmed and can't see their own hope and resilience while its buried beneath the rubble.
The positive impact of responding to emotion with emotion?
1. Responding with emotional empathy opens the sufferer up to the healing presence of God.
2. Responding with emotional empathy give the listener permission to be taken seriously, especially when something challenging may be needed to be said at a later point in time. Without empathy, the listener doesn't have permission.
3. Responding with emotional empathy makes the listener a safe harbor for a broken vessel.
We can learn to ask: What is my friend experiencing?
Learning to respond to emotion with emotion, particularly the emotions the suffering person is drowning under, will help us serve as an advocate rather than as an advisor; a companion rather than a courtroom judge; a compassionate healer rather than a clinician.
 Intimate Life, Intimate Life Ministries