our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. [2 corinthians 1:7]
there are a few things that we can say are happening based on this verse.
- paul (and his companions) are suffering.
- the corinthians will also suffer.
- paul believes they will all be comforted through their suffering.
if paul is experiencing suffering, both past and present, and is confident the corinthian church will experience suffering as well, how is it that he can say his hope is unshaken – when he not only has lived through suffering but knows there is more to come for all of these believers?
simply put, it has to be because his hope is in something more sustainable than his circumstances. the suffering is a foregone conclusion. which means his hope can’t be based on whether the suffering exists or not. his confidence is built on an understanding that the comforter cannot be moved. that the suffering does not negate the reality of the comforter.
does your suffering for Christ weaken your hope in the comforter? does the suffering of other believers cause you to question if God can truly be good?
if our mindset is that the circumstances we encounter are more steadfast than the comforter, then we have no grounds for hope. but if our foundation is an unshakable God, then our hope can be unshakable as well. if you find yourself bending in the wind of your circumstances and sufferings then i would encourage you to spend time today grounding yourself in the presence of God. he is steadfast and faithful. and reminding ourselves of this is a daily need. staring in the face of our suffering will drive our perspective. but staring in the face of The Comforter will do the same.
i love you, o LORD, my strength. the LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom i take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. i call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and i am saved from my enemies. [psalm 18:1-3]
therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.[hebrews 12:28–29]
“everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. and everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” [matthew 7:24–27]
~ keith kozlowski