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2 Corinthians 1:5

2 Corinthians 1:5
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2 Corinthians 1:5, “…just as the sufferings of Christ abound unto us, so through Christ our comfort also abounds.”

The phrase, “just as” at the beginning of this verse refers back to what Paul has been talking about in the preceding verses, namely, the afflictions which he and others believers suffer. This is important to see because it means that here in verse 5, Paul labels ALL the sufferings of God’s people as the “sufferings of Christ” abounding to them.

By naming all affliction that a Christian can suffer the “sufferings of Christ,” Paul brings ALL suffering into the experience of Christ’s sufferings. In other words, the most fundamental truth about any and all of our suffering, Christian, is that—since Christ has made it His own on the cross (Is 53:4)—it belongs to, was borne by, and is now defined in light of His own experience of it.

Therefore, to rightly understand our own suffering, we need to understand Christ’s suffering (which is, afterall, simply our suffering borne in Him). So what is Christ’s suffering? Did it master Him? Did it ruin God’s purposes for Him? Did it strip Him of His fruitfulness to the Father? NO—Christ’s suffering was the freely chosen and sovereignly embraced means of LOVING His Father, LOVING the world, and RECONCILING all things to God.

THAT is what the sufferings of Christ were and are, and—to a lesser and yet still true degree—that is what all suffering can be when endured in the recognition that we suffer only within the sphere of Christ’s sovereign suffering for us. If our suffering is participation in Christ’s suffering, then we know that our suffering—though grievous—is a suffering that has been embraced in obedience and love for the sake healing and redemption and the communication of God’s excellence; it is a suffering that has been traversed even to its furthest extremities; and it is a suffering that has been finally overcome and turned to beauty by resurrection. THIS is how Christ’s experience of our suffering redefines our experience of all suffering. And recognizing this is how comfort abounds to us even in these sufferings