“Knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence” 2 Corinthians 4:14
The Book of 2 Corinthians records some of the Apostle Paul’s most personal reflections on life, afflictions, and what makes him tick. He recounts some of his severest struggles that drove him to the brink of despair. Yet prior to succumbing, he once again drew upon the hope that sustained him up to that point: this will all end very well! Here’s why.
1.) The trials of life cannot compare to the hope set before us (Romans 8:18).
Whenever Paul began to sink under the weight of present burdens, he recalled the great hope of which he preached: eternal life. He invites us to also compare the cares of this world with our own hope of a resurrected life. There can be no comparison at all. Normally, it’s not wise to compare our situation with others as such comparisons tend to make us feel bad. But we can and should compare our present struggles with the life that is yet to come: everlasting life in the presence of God. Surely we can draw no better picture than that.
2.) Present trials strengthen our hope (2 Corinthians 4:16).
Paul in this verse points out the vital connection between affliction and spiritual strength. His constant trials served to strengthen his spiritual outlook and sense of hope. How? By bringing to the forefront the vanity of this world and causing him to treasure the glories of the next. When faced with earthly bombardments, he drew comfort and solace by contemplating a better hope.
3.) Others profit by our struggles (2 Corinthians 4:12).
The wording sounds a bit strange. “So death is at work in us, but life in you.” How does the death “at work” in Paul help the Corinthians readers? Paul faced his severest affliction while proclaiming the gospel. He was willing to endure such afflictions so that others might be saved. In so doing, he was physically grinding down, but others were brought into a saving relationship with Christ. What he was saying is “yes I am getting cut down by various trials in getting out the gospel, but you Corinthians get blessed by hearing the gospel and coming to Christ. It’s really a beautiful formula still in operation today.
When the weight gets too heavy to bear, we need to remember to keep matters in clear perspective. We have a hope that transcends any prize this world can possibly offer. We have a hope that shrinks down to size the terror of the grave. We have a hope that lifts our spirits in times of severe testing and struggle. We worship a God who cannot lie about anything, let alone the sure promise of eternal life (Titus 1:2).
Don’t allow the pressures of this life to wear you out, or tempt you to quit. Stay true to Christ knowing that you have a hope in heaven beyond all comparison.
I Have a Hope (Tommy Walker)
I have a hope, I have a future
I have a destiny that is yet awaiting me
My life's not over, a new beginning's just begun
I have a hope, I have this hope
God has a plan, it's not to harm me
But it's to prosper me and to hear me when I call
He intercedes for me, working all things for my good
Though trials may come I have this hope
I will yet praise Him, my great Redeemer
I will yet stand up and give Him glory with my life
He takes my darkness and He turns it into light
I will yet praise Him, my Lord my God
My God is for me, He's not against me
So tell me whom then, tell me whom then shall I fear
He has prepared for me
Great works He'll help me to complete
I have a hope, I have this hope
Goodness and mercy, they're gonna follow me
And I'll forever dwell in the house of my great King
No eye has ever seen all He's preparing there for me
Though trials may come, I have this hope
Posted on Fri, April 11, 2014
by Sam Petitfils