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. Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God.
— Colossians 1:24-25
The suffering exercise of the servants of God involves many things. Paul said that it was given to him to “complete the word of God” (1:25, Darby). In order for this oneness to be realized, the serving saints must suffer, and they must struggle in their person for the fulfillment of the word in their experience.
The word “complete” refers to something subjective, not merely to something objective. It is not merely, “I finished writing down what God asked me to write.” It is also, “I write what I have experienced and have come to know myself.” Serving ones need to have the word fulfilled in their experience so that they may minister the word and fulfill their ministry.