5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:5-7
Verse 5 is a curious verse. You read it, stop, and say, “How have we shared abundantly in the sufferings of Christ?”
There’s a similar verse in Philippians 3:10 – “I want to know Christ–yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”
What are these sufferings? Surely we have not suffered anything close to what Christ suffered.
Our sufferings are the sufferings of Christ because we suffer as He suffered (1 Peter 4:13). Think of it as if your child was suffering because of something you told him/her to believe. Would you be in pain too? Probably.
But suffering is only part of the equation. While we do suffer here on earth, He also gives comfort.
Before I end this, I will add that when you’re in the midst of true suffering, it’s difficult to read and hear something like this. I suspect there are quite a few in the midst of this suffering now. But I write this in the hopes that these words and the words of these Scriptures will be a comfort to you in your time of need.
If you remember nothing else from this devotional, remember this: “Come close to God and He will come close to you.” James 4:8