“I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church”
Paul’s joy transcended his personal interests. His joy came in serving others even though he paid a price for it.
“I now rejoice in my sufferings for you”
Paul did not rejoice in suffering itself, but he rejoiced that his suffering brought the gospel to the Colossians.
God has a purpose in suffering that goes beyond our own personal ends.
God sends a ministry of suffering that does something for our souls. Suffering develops character; it enables us to grow in grace (2 Cor. 12:9,10). We grow into spiritual maturity more rapidly when we suffer if we orient to the grace of God. We are not nearly so quick to criticize others if we experience criticism. We will think twice before we castigate someone else because we remember the scars that we received from the sharp tongue of someone else. Suffering mellows us as Christians. Eventually, we become a veteran Christian, tested and approved.
Paul wrote, “I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation” (2 Cor. 7:4). He learned the blessed benefits of suffering. Paul knew the best is yet ahead. We will not suffer in eternity. We will receive a body free from pain and suffering. One day there will be no more death, sorrow, crying, or pain (Rev. 21:4). Brush away the tears. Fix your eyes on the suffering Savior,
“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2).
What are you facing today? Some suffering is chronic, and some acute. Some of our pain is on the surface, and another suffering is so deep that you cannot share it with others; we can only cry out to God. We cannot allow anguish to sour us. We cannot let it make us mean and grumpy or let it curdle our spirit. We need to get God’s blessing out of suffering. We have enrolled in the College of Christ, and he sets up the curriculum. We learn the lesson so that we will not have to retake the course.