For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives;
so also through Christ our comfort overflows.
In reading this verse, I was intrigued by the parallelism of flow over / overflows.
So I looked up the verse in the King James Version:
For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us,
so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
Here the parallelism is abound / aboundeth.
The same verb!
That verb is perisseuō and it is appropriately translated both as “abounds” and “overflows.”
Here’s a neat little bit of trivia from the Blue Letter Bible website:
“‘Abounding’ is used of a flower going from a bud to full bloom.”
Blossoming flowers remind me of spring, new life, happiness, beauty.
But this verse is talking about sufferings and sorrows.
And yet . . . flowers are also given to provide comfort and consolation, to cheer a hospital room, to brighten a funeral.
I think Paul is saying that the comfort equals the sorrow. No matter how great the sorrow may be, Christ’s comfort is just as great.
Like a flower, opening from a bud to a fragrant blossom.