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Enduring until the end

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. 2 Corinthians 1:3-6

Paul began describing his hardships on a positive, cheerful note. Christ is the center of true belief. Paul’s exuberant praise to God in the midst of sufferings demonstrates the believers’ relationship to the Father as the one who sent Christ. Paul added that the Father has compassion and all comfort. This pattern of praise derives from the Old Testament (see Isaiah 51:12; 66:13). God’s mercy and his concern for the plight of those who suffer denote His compassion. Paul described his own suffering because he wanted to spread the gospel. He suffered and was comforted so he could bring comfort to others in any trouble. His suffering in ministry was an act of service to the Corinthians. Having suffered and been comforted, Paul could comfort others with the comfort he had received from God. The principle presented applies to all believers. God permits His servants to suffer, and then comforts them so they may in turn comfort others. Since Christians are so intimately joined with Christ, joy flows from Christ, to believers, through believers, and to others. Believers are filled up with God’s presence that brings about comfort that overflows to other believers through Christ. In our union with Christ, we face the hardships of sin and death, but we also receive compassionate encouragement from God. This was why Paul could say that when he was comforted, all the more the message of the gospel was shared to Corinth. Christians must remain faithful to Christ, no matter how difficult circumstances become. Believers must continue to endure in their faithful service to God until the end. Christ’s followers in Corinth faced trials, disappointments, and conflicts. Yet Paul knew that they could endure hardships because of their saving faith in Christ. Christ’s comfort is always available so we will endure up to the end.


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