The Beatitudes end with Christ saying how blessed one becomes by enduring persecution because of Him. Persecution is not something that anyone looks forward to and so it is not easy finding the attainment of blessedness in having to suffer. To the Corinthians, St. Paul speaks to them of affliction and suffering as something that comes to us from Christ. Rather than seeing this as Christ being the cause of all our suffering, a distinction should be made. Sometimes we are the cause of our suffering by the choices we make, sometimes it is because of other people in our lives. The suffering that comes to us from Christ is the suffering He endured for us.
For as Christ’s sufferings overflow to us, so through Christ does our encouragement also overflow. 2 Corinthians 1:5
The encouragement that comes to us from Christ comes from the same thing; the suffering He endured for us. It is in the extent of His suffering that we see the profound love that He has for us. Going through His Passion was something He freely chose because of the love He has for us. Love was the encouragement and the reason to go forward. Our encouragement to move forward and suffer because of Christ is similar. Following Christ is not always easy. We have crosses to carry, people who persecute us on various levels, the struggles we face with sin, the list can go on.
Christ was victorious in what He suffered and we can be too. It is remembering that encouragement that St. Paul speaks of. Be encouraged by the fact that Christ suffered for us out of the love of our souls. There was nothing that would get in the way of that love. As we suffer in our walk with Christ may we never let anything get in the way of our love for Him and the promise of eternal life with Him.