Over the last several blogs we have been looking at a text written over 2,000 years ago. A partial reading of the text says that we are afflicted in every way, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down.
Notice that I said this was a “partial” reading of the test. This text was written by Paul to the people of Corinth.
When I add the text that I left out during the blogs written over the last several weeks it says:
- Afflicted in every way, but not crushed
- Perplexed, but not driven to despair
- Persecuted, but not forsaken
- Struck down, but not destroyed
These added words bring assurance and hope. While we will be afflicted, we will not be crushed. While we’ll feel perplexed, we will not be driven to despair. While we will be persecuted, we will not be forsaken. And even though we will be struck down, we will not be destroyed.
Reason for Hope
These additional words provide hope. It’s important to examine our source of hope. In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he of course is speaking of our hope in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the one who offers eternal life regardless of the afflictions, perplexities, persecution, and strikes in everyday life. You may put your faith and hope in other things and they will likely lead to relief in some or all of the conditions. But please consider where you place your hope and the full relief from being crushed, experiencing despair, being forsaken, or destroyed.
Where Is Your Hope?
The only answer I know of avoiding the destruction mentioned in this text is through putting our faith in something greater than ourselves. Those sources of hope can vary over time and in the moment. I know that as I reflect on my hope at any given moment, it can come from many different sources. However, there is only one source greater than ourselves which keeps us from being crushed, experiencing debilitating despair, feeling forsaken, or being destroyed. That source is Jesus Christ. Please examine your source of hope and put your faith in the complete answer.