2 Corinthians 1:5 (ESV) -- For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
There is a certain amount of suffering that should be expected in the Christian life. We have to put our sin to death and say no to the flesh. We also have the ridicule and mockery that can come from the world around us because we follow Christ and His Word. There is also physical death and persecution that some Christians face around the world. Suffering is a part of the fabric of Christianity. But the good news is … so is comfort.
That’s the subject of our passage today. We read from Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:5, “For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”
Paul says that we “share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings.” This applies in several ways to the believer. We have a share in Christ’s sufferings in the sense that they are applied to us. Forgiveness of sins and atonement is made because we get to share in Christ’s death. His sufferings at the cross are accounted to us as if we suffered them ourselves.
The other sense in which we share abundantly in His sufferings is we, too, suffer at the hands of sinners and in a world of brokenness. We lose friends. Relationships struggle from envy, jealousy, betrayal, and other means. Our bodies age, grow weary, and get sick. As Christ suffered in His full humanity, so we, too, suffer as humans in a broken world.
However, there is great news given by Paul. As we share in Christ’s sufferings, so we share in His comfort too. Jesus provides us comfort with His nearness and presence in our lives. He provides grace to us that is all-sufficient in our times of need. He provides strength, help, and peace in our trials. Comfort is ours. As believers, we must not despair in our pains. We look to Christ. He is our help. He is our comfort. Rest in Him, believer. If you are suffering in this world, take heart, you qualify for comfort too.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why does Paul need to give this encouragement to believers in this passage?
- What are some ways we share in Christ’s comfort as we suffer?
- How should believers seek that comfort from Christ?
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