Persecution & Suffering: 19

In 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 it says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in [any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.   But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.”

Very simply, this means that through our sufferings (and subsequent comfort from Christ) we are equipped to help others who are suffering. We have experienced, and will experience even more fully in the future, this same benefit through Christ. Ultimately, we will receive permanent and eternal comfort with Him in glory. Even in the present we experience comfort through the ministry of the Holy Spirit within us.

Therefore, both our sufferings and our comfort can result in comfort for others. Again, this is a reason for rejoicing. The only condition on others receiving this comfort is that they patiently endure. So we see again, that all these possible and intended benefits are conditional upon our appropriate response. That response is not to become bitter or angry or resentful or discouraged, but rather to patiently endure.

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