At one time or another, disappointment affects us all. But if our hopes are dashed repeatedly, we could easily sink into discouragement. That’s what happened to Paul in today’s passage. Under an onslaught of affliction, he became excessively burdened beyond his strength to endure, with the result that he eventually “despaired even of life” (2 Cor. 1:8).
Have you ever felt like that? When you’re discouraged by life’s hardships, the way out is to keep your focus on the Lord. He has higher purposes than you can see from your vantage point in the valley of despair. Paul calls Him “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort” (2 Cor. 1:3). And many times He uses His people to comfort and pray for us in our times of need.
But if we dwell solely on our disappointments, we’ll respond in sinful ways. We could blame others or even point the finger at God for allowing our trial. If we focus on what we want and don’t have, we’ll see the Lord as unfair. Anger soon follows as we lash out at others and the Lord Himself.
God’s comfort is available when we submit to our disappointments and set our hope completely on Him instead of our unmet expectations.