Issiaka Coulibaly: Share abundantly in the sufferings and comfort of Christ

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For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 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. 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

“The apostle’s troubles are like the extension of the sufferings of Jesus Christ. The more they increase, the greater the comfort received from Christ. In fact, Paul’s suffering will result in the comforting of the good of many others, even those like the Corinthians who have hurt the apostle. It will even be for their salvation, a word that Paul uses here in its widest sense, which includes their general well-being. So far, Paul has spoken of suffering and distress without specifying what has caused them. He will do that in the rest of the letter.”

Issiaka Coulibaly in “2 Corinthians” in Africa Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006) 1426.

I am back to Denver after travels to both Iowa and Texas speaking this week. In case you missed it, I announced the release of my most recent book, co-authored with Travis Shelton. It’s called, COMMUNITY. Download it here.

As Paul served the community of faith, he faced troubles. What I find inspiring is that he does not point any blame and link them to any cause. He simply celebrates the comfort from Christ and the patient endurance that it develops within God’s people.

This is a new twist linked to sharing for me this year. Our generous God invites us to share in His sufferings so that we can also share in His comfort. And it’s not just for us as individuals but to grow together as a community of hope through the difficulties.

May God help us not focus on the cause of any distress we endure, which just adversely impacts us. Instead, may we fix our eyes on the privilege of sharing in both the sufferings and comfort of Christ which help us grow in patient endurance and hope.