In 2 Corinthians 4:1, the apostle Paul writes, “Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.” Interesting that Paul has so much hope about “this ministry”, because it certainly involved much frustration and pain. As a matter of fact, Paul writes this very letter to try to make amends with the church at Corinth, a congregation with whom he seemed to endure a rather strained relationship with. These type of situations are often the ones that cause us to lose heart and hope, questioning whether or not we understood God’s voice correctly. Yet Paul views his struggles with the congregation at Corinth not as an invalidation of his ministry but as a real opportunity to reflect on the truth of the gospel and discover hope.
Too many times we see struggles and frustrations as evidence that God is not working in a particular way. Perhaps we should question this assumption and ask instead if such trying times are an invitation to claim the hope that comes from God’s mercy.
Is there a place in your life where you have an opportunity to hope because of God’s mercy rather than surrender because of frustration?