Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.
— Colossians 1:24
The Lord told Paul that his suffering in his ministry filled up that which was lacking of the afflictions of Christ for the Body’s sake. If you were to ask the Lord whether He alone was sufficient for the needs of the Body, He might answer, “I am all-wise, all-mighty, and all-preeminent, but I am not all-sufficient, for I need someone to suffer and pay the price for My Body’s sake. I died so that the church could be produced. Now I need some willing ones to suffer so the church can be built up.”
This may seem surprising to many. After all, is not Christ’s death enough for the church’s building up? For redemption, Christ’s death alone is indeed sufficient. For the building up of the church, however, it is not sufficient. In the church life, the serving ones must learn to bear with misunderstanding and even slander so that the saints might be built up. The suffering of the serving ones builds up the church.