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Suffering Relates to Comfort

December 1, 2007

2 Corinthians 1:3-7:

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 may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. [1] If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

What an amazing statement: Paul here says that we are afflicted for two reasons.  First, we are afflicted in order for Christ to show his comfort to us.  This passage shows us that we can be shown comfort in a unique way if we are afflicted.  Secondly, we are afflicted in order to comfort others who are suffering.  Because we know what is like to suffer, we can bring comfort to other suffering believers.  In fact, Paul makes a connection between receiving comfort through Christ and passing that comfort along to other suffering believers.

Praise God that he gives us other saints who can stand alongside us in sufferings, and that we can stand alongside those among us who are currently suffering.

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