Last month, as Hurricane Ian battered the Florida coast, the water and wind were so strong that even giant slabs of concrete couldn’t stand their ground. When a storm that powerful comes along, there’s not much that is left unshaken. And yet, in 2 Corinthians, Paul wrote about having a hope that is unshaken, no matter how bad the storm gets.
This month we’re studying the lessons we learn from affliction in 2 Corinthians 1. Last week we saw how God is our comfort from 2 Corinthians 1:3-5. In the next two verses, we see how God uses affliction to develop patient endurance and unshakeable hope in His children.
“If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 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 1:6-7)
Paul knew from experience that as the Corinthians suffered affliction, they would need patience and endurance to persevere. This was Paul’s unshaken hope for them: that by the power of God’s Spirit, as they would endure because of God’s comfort.
We see a similar line of thought in Paul’s letter to the Romans:
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)
Our dependence on God’s comfort isn’t just wishful thinking or hoping for a possible outcome, like we might hope for good weather or a winning football team. When we endure suffering and receive God’s comfort, God gives us hope that cannot be shaken by our circumstances.
As Paul says in Romans, this hope does not put us to shame. We experience God’s presence and provision in hard times, and our confidence in His comfort grows. So the next time we walk through trials, we can more patiently endure because we know we have His comfort in every moment.
No matter what you face this week, God’s comfort gives us unshaken hope.Share