Suffering is as natural as being in the eye of a storm where two contrary forces meet and the resultant vector must lead the world somewhere. For the godly that would rather please God must account for ways of the world where even your own familiar friends, members of your family acquaintances and your own society are askance at your unwillingness to go along, and it certainly poses a problem. They have subtle ways of trying to make your change and it can be pretty wearisome. St Paul was well aware of it. This is in addition to what you shall experience in your own self. “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:/But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members./O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?((Ro.7:22-24)” So Christian Living is to be able to develop a protective shield that must come from God of all mercies. He is the God of all comfort.
The word Comfort which we use in the case of the indwelling Spirit gives us the word Paraclete or the Comforter. It comes from the ancient Greek word paraklesis. The idea of comfort as stabilizing or fortifying is what the Latin word fortis suggests.. So God is of all comfort who not only comforts us but also trains us to grow iron in our souls. We can understand why from this verse,”So then death worketh in us, but life in you(2 Co.4:12)”. Life of the risen Christ is like vitamin supplement spiritually working wonders daily. If it worked with saints of old it works even this day since Christ who is our life revives us. “For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ(v.5)”
As with principle of Association St Paul connect his ministry as empowered by the same rational set down in declaring the gospel. It is thus St Paul introduces God of all mercies and of all comfort. “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God” received also grace to preach the Good News. In preaching the word of His grace we have the order,’Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ(v.2)’. This is poured in the earthen vessel whereby he is able to perform his tasks,”we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God(v.3). So Paul may be a man limited in resources as his own body indicates but he is helped. He is able thereby to refresh the flock as though the Father and Son were actively involved.
Suffering of the godly is never done in a vacuum.
This Christian virtue is not developed over night but by staying the course. We see from St Paul’s own experience how he developed his inner resources so as from the evidence in his epistles to the Corinthians he would receive it all calmly. The Church of Corinth did not accept him at face value and many of his detractors persisted in resisting his ministry. Despite of their low esteem he continued with his labor. He had well counted the cost and as he says,”For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!(1 Co.9:16). He gives a list of persecution he had to accept (2 Co.11:23-28).” This ministry was given to him by Jesus Christ and the Spirit also confirmed his Apostleship and what he told Archippus was true in his case,”And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfill it (Col.4:17) We note a similar charge given to Timothy,”But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry(2 Ti:4:5)”..
He wrote his epistles for the specific church in question but it was intended for other churches as well. In Paul’s epistle to the church at Colossae we have this verse,”And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea( Col4:16)”. Ungodliness knows no nations; what causes immorality in Corinth or in New York has been everywhere. So nationalism that we hear these days is a smokescreen and it can only be dispelled by witnesses for Christ who are committed for righteousness of God 100%. They put their shoulder to the ministry fully and not grub for filthy lucre in between. St Paul’s epistles may carry labels but these were for everywhere as it is with eternal word of God. There is only one kingdom in the end, that of God.
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:
2 Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.
7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.