So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, (ESV)
If you are reading this verse for the first time you may wonder, "Has Paul lost his mind?" If?? If any encouragement in Christ? If any comfort from love? If any participation in the Spirit? If any affection and sympathy? But, you should know that he is setting up what will follow. It is a rhetorical "if." We know that, of course we have all these things in Christ! So, let's look at them.
Encouragement in Christ: This word for encouragement implies coming alongside and giving help, counsel, and wisdom. I am so thankful that our blessed Savior does not save us from our sins and then leave us to fend for ourselves. He is there to encourage us. Discouraged today? Turn to the Savior. He has what you need. Draw close to him. He will draw close to you.
Comfort From His Love: This world brings so much hurt and sorrow. At times it seems to come at us so intensely we feel that we can never survive it. Yet, the Savior comes close and whispers words of comfort that remind us that this world is not our home. Our sorrow lasts only for the night. Joy comes in the morning. An eternity without sorrow is being planned for us.
Participation in the Spirit: Do you ever feel alone? The believer in Jesus Christ need never feel alone. We have been given the Holy Spirit to dwell within us. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit was so important for us that it was better that he return to the Father so that the Spirit could come and be with us, and in us! Any doubts about what the Spirit does? Read Romans 8 today!
Affection and Sympathy: What's the difference between affection and sympathy. Affection is loving and caring for someone. Sympathy enables that affection to identify with whatever hurt a person is going through. It's nice to have affection. It's nice to be cared for. But, it means even more when a person can identify with out hurt. Is there anyone better suited to care for us than the one who suffered and died for us? A man of sorrows? He loves you and he knows what pain is like.
If? We know that we have all of these things in Christ. Take a few moments today and thank the Lord Jesus for these blessings that are yours in Him.