Today we have just one big idea: we are in this together. As Christians, we don’t go through affliction and suffering as individuals – we go through it together.
This is what 2 Corinthians 1:6-7 tells us.
Christians Go Through Affliction & Comfort Together
As we’ve read through 2 Corinthians 1, we’ve seen Paul go from general to very specific. Generally, God comforts us in all our affliction (v. 4a). He comforts us so we can comfort others (v. 4b). More specifically, great Christian suffering comes with great Christian comfort (v. 5). And there is purpose to Christian suffering and comfort (v. 6).
In 2 Corinthians 1:6-7, Paul gets really specific and directly addresses the Corinthian Christians:
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.– 2 Corinthians 1:6-7
Paul wants the Corinthians to join him in this experience of suffering and comfort. He encourages them (and us, by extension) to not try to escape it, but “patiently endure” it. Why? Because that’s how Christianity works.
Christians suffer together and take comfort together. When one Christian suffers, all of us suffer (1 Corinthians 12:26). That’s just how it works. We’re designed to live the Christian life together in all its many facets.
If you trust and follow Jesus as your Savior and Lord, you’re not alone in whatever suffering or comfort you’re experiencing.
Let’s Lean into Our Togetherness
Christians experience afflictions and feel suffering. We will experience the pressures of life and feel the pain of it. But God promises to enable us to endure.
During this COVID-19 crisis, let’s lean into our togetherness. One way to do this is to get in touch with a fellow Christian and share with them using these three questions:
- “What pressures are you under right now?” Maybe they’re sick. Maybe they’re experiencing extra pressure like parenting with the kids being out of school.
- “What pain are you experiencing?” Maybe they’re stressed out. Maybe their afraid during this unprecedented time.
- “How is God comforting you?” How is God enabling them to endure the affliction and suffering by helping them to trust Him?
There is a lot of strength in us sharing together in affliction, suffering and comfort. Let’s listen to each other, pray with each other and encourage each other because we are in this together.
Devotional streamed on Facebook Live – Wednesday, Mar. 18 3:00 PM