It is out of the Father’s abundant mercies upon us that He sent His Son, Yeshua, to suffer, die, and be resurrected that we may have abounding comfort (Gr. parakaleos) in our trouble and sufferings (2 Cor. 1:3,5). It is a comfort knowing that although oppression, trials, and tribulations (Gr. thlipsis) will come our way, we can call upon the Holy Spirit for assistance in tough times (John 14:26).
It was important for Yeshua to emphasize, so that we would get the point, that the servant is not greater than his lord or master (John 13:16; 15:20). Since Yeshua was acquainted with grief, hated, rejected, despised, suffered pain and death (Is. 53:3-5), His servants need to be aware that during their lifetime they will also suffer heartache and excruciating pain of some type from a multitude of troubles (thlipsis). He warned that the world would hate, persecute, afflict and oppress those whom He has chosen out of the world (John 15:19-20; Is. 53:7; Matt 24:9). The world’s goal is to lower and humble Yeshua’s followers by putting them under extreme pressure or affliction (Heb. anah).
If we being His followers are chosen out of the world system, how then will we handle the painful sufferings (Gr. pathema) and survive oppression or trials? Yeshua said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). He also said that the Heavenly Father would send the Holy Spirit in His name to teach us all things and to bring to remembrance those things He taught (John 14:26). How can we fail when the Spirit of truth teaches us Himself? We know when it is He because He abides in us and He teaches only truth (John 14:6,17).
Also, Yeshua promised that He would ask the Father and He would give another Comforter, another Helper, not only to dwell in us but that He would never leave us comfortless and that He will come to us (John 14:18). “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Cor. 8-9). When we are going through trials and suffering we can have the assurance that He will never fail, leave, nor forsake His inheritance (Heb. 13:5; Josh.1:5; Ps. 94:14). Moses would have exhorted us as he did the Israelites, “Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them for the LORD thy GOD, He it is that doth go with thee, He will not fail thee nor forsake thee. Do not fear or be dismayed (Deut. 31:6,8). Stephen, before he was stoned, remembered and recounted Joseph and how GOD delivered him. As you recall, Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt, but GOD was with him and delivered him out of all his afflictions (thlipsis) and gave him favor and wisdom (Acts 7:9-10). Moses and Joseph believed GOD. Yeshua, even today, comforts us, in our afflictions and sufferings when He exhorted us to not let our hearts be troubled, or anxious. We’re to believe in Him for He is our GOD (John 14:1).
When our prayers seem to bounce off the ceiling, perhaps we are called to endurance. The apostle Paul stated that he suffered persecutions and afflictions (Gr.-pathema) but that the LORD delivered him out of them all (2 Tim 3:11-12). He also commended the church at Thessalonica for their patience and faith in all their persecutions and tribulations (Gr. thlipsis – pressure and affliction) that they endured (2 Thess.1: 4). And after we were enlightened, didn’t we have to endure a fight with afflictions (Heb. 10:32)? Peter exhorts us to be steadfast in faith, resisting the adversary, knowing that our brethren are enduring the same afflictions (1 Peter 5:9).
What else is accomplished in suffering (pathema)? Glory! Peter said that after we have suffered a little while, the GOD of all grace will make us perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle those of us whom He has called into His eternal glory (Gr. doxan) (1 Peter 5:10). He also encouraged us stating, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you. But rejoice inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when His glory (doxes) shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy” (1 Peter 4:12-13). According to Paul we are to glory (Gr. kauchometha, to hold our head up high in confidence) in our tribulations knowing that tribulation works patience in us. We’re to rejoice in hope; patient in tribulation: continuing instant in prayer, because the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory (Gr. doxan, praise and honor) which shall be revealed in us (Rom. 5:3; 12:12; 8:18).
With comfort and encouragement, Yeshua repeated his command, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27). He comforts us and gives us peace (Gr. eirene) in all our afflictions and sufferings as a witness of His Presence living in our lives. “Always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.” (2 Cor. 4: 10-11). As He encourages us and lifts us up above the turmoil and abundance of suffering, He makes us whole and complete. We survive because He gives us the will to survive. We need Him. For when we have an abundance of suffering and affliction, so then we need and are given an abundance of comfort (Gr. parakalesia) (2 Cor.1:5). Others see us. They see the Comforter (Gr. Paracletos) in us. They need Him, too. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that we are enabled to comfort those who are in the midst of pain, suffering, trials and turmoil. We do well to share in their afflictions (Phil. 4:14 2 Cor.1:6). The comfort, the exhortations, and the peace, which were given to us by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are to overflow our cups and spill over into lives that are troubled and hurting bringing about restoration, wholeness, and abundant life (John 10:10; 2 Cor.1:4, 6). If we are sharers in suffering then will we be sharers in comforting and bearing another’s burden thus fulfilling the law of Christ.
(2 Cor. 1:7; Gal. 6:2).