A theological understanding of suffering

Daily reading: 2 Corinthians 1:1-11
Monday May 23, 2016

Focus passage:  That is because we receive so much comfort through Christ in the same way that we share so many of Christ’s sufferings.  So if we have trouble, it is to bring you comfort and salvation.  If we are comforted, it is to bring you comfort from the experience of endurance while you go through the same sufferings that we also suffer. 2 Corinthians 1:5-6

Paul places suffering in a theological context in the first 11 verses of the letter.  It is all grounded in an understanding that Christ was a suffering Messiah and because of that, Christ knows the depth of our own suffering.
Like the Psalmist proclaims in Psalm 139, beginning in verse 7, “where could I go to get away from your spirit?  Where could I go to escape your presence?  If I went up to heaven you would be there.  If I went down to the grave, you would be there too!  If I could fly on the wings of the dawn, stopping only to rest only on the far side of the ocean – even there your hand would guide me; even there your strong hand would hold me tight!  If I said, “The darkness will definitely hide me; the light will become night around me,” even then the darkness isn’t too dark for you!”
Paul believes that the God who can raise the dead, can make all things new.

Prayer: God help me to fully know today that you are present in my life and in the lives of those I love, in the lives of those I struggle to love, and in the mended parts of my life (and community) and in the fragmented parts of my life (and community). Amen.  

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