ODJ: Never Abandoned

June 9, 2018 

READ: 2 Corinthians 4:6-18 

We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed (v.9).

The mood in the church was heavy as believers in my city gathered to mourn the horror of a racist demonstration in America and its deadly aftermath. As we united to grieve and pray, a question seemed to hang in the air: What does it mean to hope during days like this—when evil is on full display and when the justice of God’s kingdom seems far away?

The heavy silence was broken by an invitation to worship. The pastor reminded us that throughout history, God’s people have sung to Him in seemingly impossible situations—in prisons, in wartime, in the face of death. And as broken hearts poured out in worship, something changed. A peace beyond understanding entered the places of pain as the tender touch of the Comforter (2 Corinthians 1:3) reminded us that His power and love is indeed far greater than even the deepest evil.

Paul described this inexplicable confidence as God’s light—the light that shines in darkness—shining in our hearts and through the fragile “clay jars” of our lives (4:6-7). Because the Spirit of the resurrected One lives in us (v.10), even when “pressed on every side by troubles”, “perplexed”, “hunted down”, “knocked down” believers have a hope that cannot be destroyed (vv.8-9).

“That is why we never give up” (v.16), Paul concluded. Our transformed lives are living proof that God is at work bringing new creation, justice and restoration into His world (5:17). So even as we “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15), we find in Him the courage to witness boldly to our Saviour’s love (2 Corinthians 5:20). And we stake our lives once more on the truth of the gospel—that His love will never be destroyed and can never be defeated (Romans 8:25-39).

—Monica Brands

365-day plan: Matthew 1:1-25

Read Romans 12:9-10 and reflect on what it means to love others by hating what is wrong while clinging to what is good. 
How does God’s power at work in you give you hope even as you face suffering and evil? How does God’s transforming love give you courage to press on?