In the past, are there times you have made choices that caused you to suffer for Christ? If so, how did those choices affect your faith?
How have you cultivated a relationship wherein you can receive comfort from God? What particular events helped you develop that trust?
Can you think of ways that you have brought comfort to others? How might you be able to comfort others in the future?
God can’t fill you if you’re already full. Consider some of the ways you tend to fill yourself with easily accessible comforts. How can you make conscious choices to empty yourself for God?
In response to the Corinthians’ rejection, Paul explains that in order to receive comfort from God, we must lean into suffering. Allowing suffering to empty us creates a void that God can fill with life and strength.
Furthermore, suffering enables us to be mediators of God’s comfort to others just as Jesus has comforted us.
Paul also explains that he is choosing suffering in order to serve the Corinthians. This choice mirrors Jesus’ suffering on the cross in order to give us life.
Belief in Jesus’ resurrection is central to our faith. If we believe in the certainty of life after death, then we will be free to take risks and give our resources for God’s kingdom.
Allowing God to rescue us in difficult moments now is merely a foretaste of our ultimate salvation. We can cultivate a deeper faith by leaning into suffering and trusting him with the outcome.