The sufferings of Christ - Suffering endured for the cause of Christ: such as persecutions, hardships, and privations of different kinds.
Our consolation also aboundeth - We stood as well, as firmly, and as easily, in the heaviest trial, as in the lightest; because the consolation was always proportioned to the trial and difficulty. Hence we learn, that he who is upheld in a slight trial need not fear a great one; for if he be faithful, his consolation shall abound, as his sufferings abound. Is it not as easy for a man to lift one hundred pounds' weight, as it is for an infant to lift a few ounces? The proportion of strength destroys the comparative difficulty.
For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us - As we are called to experience the same sufferings which Christ endured; as we are called to suffer in his cause, and in the promotion of the same object. The sufferings which they endured were in the cause of Christ and his gospel; were endured in endeavoring to advance the same object which Christ sought to promote; and were substantially of the same nature. They arose from opposition, contempt, persecution, trial, and want, and were the same as the Lord Jesus was himself subjected to during the whole of his public life; compare Colossians 1:24. Thus, Peter says 1 Peter 4:13 of Christians that they were “partakers of Christ‘s sufferings.”
So our consolation also aboundeth by Christ - By means of Christ, or through Christ, consolation is abundantly imparted to us. Paul regarded the Lord Jesus as the source of consolation, and felt that the comfort which he imparted, or which was imparted through him, was more than sufficient to overbalance all the trials which he endured in this cause. The comforts which he derived from Christ were those, doubtless, which arose from his presence, his supporting grace, from his love shed abroad in the heart; from the success which he gave to his gospel, and from the hope of reward which was held out to him by the Redeemer, as the result of all his sufferings. And it may he observed as an universal truth, that if we suffer in the cause of Christ, if we are persecuted, oppressed, and calumniated on his account, he will take care that cur hearts shall be filled with consolation.
Christ in the Heart—Discourses that have little of Christ and His righteousness in them are given in the desk. They are Christless sermons. To preach in the demonstration of the Spirit is completely beyond the power of those who are without Christ. They are feeble, empty, and without nourishment. They have no Christ to carry with them in private life. They are full of boasting, of pride, of self-esteem, speaking evil of things of which they have no real knowledge. They manifest an impatience of everything that does not follow in their line. They will even scoff and mock at sacred things, because they do not see that spiritual things are spiritually discerned. They degrade themselves by perverting and falsifying truth.—Manuscript 15, 1886. VSS 314.1
The Spirit's Power—Merely to speak to beautiful things that please the ear and attract attention should not be our purpose. We are to present Christ and Him crucified, that souls who are dead in trespasses and sins may be alarmed and quickened. Those who seek to teach others need to be converted to Christ; they need to plead with God that He will imbue them with His Holy Spirit before they can lift up Christ as the sinner's only hope. Flowery speeches, pleasing tales, anecdotes, and stories do not convict the sinner. Men listen to such words as they would listen to a pleasant song, and the laborers gather but few sheaves into the garner. The message the sinner should hear is, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” [John 3:16]. And the truth will subdue and tender the soul of the teacher because he feels its practical utility.—Manuscript 12, 1891. VSS 314.2
Life-Healing Balm From the Cross—The cross, the cross of Calvary presented again and again, plainly dwelt upon in every discourse, will prove the life-healing balm, will reveal the beauty and excellence of virtue. Those who quibble over the authenticity of the Scriptures and question the authority of revelation will not be influenced.—Manuscript 20, 1893. VSS 315.1Read in context »
When death claims one of our number, what are our memories of the treatment he has received? Are the pictures upon memory's walls pleasant to reflect upon? Are they memories of kind words spoken, of sympathy given at the right time? Have his brethren turned away the evil surmisings of indiscreet meddlers? Have they vindicated his cause? Have they been faithful to the inspired injunction: “Comfort the feeble-minded, support the weak”? “Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak hands.” “Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not.” 5T 489.1
When he with whom we have associated in the church is dead, when we know that his account in the books of heaven is fixed, and that he must meet that record in the judgment, what are the reflections of his brethren as to the course they have pursued toward him? What has been their influence upon him? How clearly now every harsh word, every unadvised act, is called to mind! How differently they would conduct themselves if they had another trial! 5T 489.2
The apostle Paul thanked God for the comfort given him in sorrow, saying: “Blessed be ... the God of all comfort; 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.” As Paul felt the comfort and warmth of God's love breaking into his soul, he reflected the blessing upon others. Let us so order our conduct that the pictures hung upon the walls of our memory may not be of such a character that we cannot endure to reflect upon them. 5T 489.3Read in context »
It was through suffering that Jesus obtained the ministry of consolation. In all the affliction of humanity He is afflicted; and “in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted.” Isaiah 63:9; Hebrews 2:18. In this ministry every soul that has entered into the fellowship of His sufferings is privileged to share. “As the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:5. The Lord has special grace for the mourner, and its power is to melt hearts, to win souls. His love opens a channel into the wounded and bruised soul, and becomes a healing balsam to those who sorrow. “The Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort ... 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.” 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4. MB 13.1
Throughout the Beatitudes there is an advancing line of Christian experience. Those who have felt their need of Christ, those who have mourned because of sin and have sat with Christ in the school of affliction, will learn meekness from the divine Teacher. MB 13.2Read in context »