Readings from the New Testament
Jesus assured his followers that our suffering will not last forever.
“Happy are you poor; the Kingdom of God is yours!”
“Happy are you who are hungry now; you will be filled!”
“Happy are you who weep now; you will laugh!”
“Happy are you when people hate you, reject you, insult you,
and say that you are evil, all because of the Son of Man!
Be glad when that happens, and dance for joy,
because a great reward is kept for you in heaven.
For their ancestors did the very same things to the prophets.”
In the midst of our despair and hopelessness, God gives us a hope that will give us strength and assurance.
Now that we have been put right with God through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. He has brought us by faith into this experience of God’s grace, in which we now live. And so we boast of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory! We also boast of our troubles, because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance brings God’s approval, and his approval creates hope. This hope does not disappoint us, for God has poured out his love into our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit, who is God’s gift to us.
Just as the apostle Paul was honest about his sufferings and frustrations, we can be honest and forthright about our own struggles.
We do not want anyone to find fault with our work, so we try not to put obstacles in anyone’s way. Instead, in everything we do we show that we are God’s servants by patiently enduring troubles, hardships, and difficulties. We have been beaten, jailed, and mobbed; we have been overworked and have gone without sleep or food. By our purity, knowledge, patience, and kindness we have shown ourselves to be God’s servants – by the Holy Spirit, by our true love, by our message of truth, and by the power of God. We have righteousness as our weapon, both to attack and to defend ourselves. We are honored and disgraced; we are insulted and praised. We are treated as liars, yet we speak the truth; as unknown, yet we are known by all; as though we are dead, but as you see, we live on. Although punished, we are not killed; although saddened, we are always glad; we seem poor, but we make many people rich; we seem to have nothing, yet we really possess everything.
2 Corinthians 6.3-10