“Joy In Hope, Patience In Affliction” ( Psalm 27: 14, NEB ) by Carley Evans


“Wait for the Lord; be strong, take courage, and wait for the Lord.”

I can’t think of more comforting and yet challenging words than these. We are reminded that God acts; He is not idle. But the call to wait for the Lord, to be strong and take courage also implies that something difficult, even painful has entered our lives. We are staggering; we are fainting from woe. We can barely eat; we do not know the comfort of sleep. We each cry out, “I am wearied with groaning; all night long my pillow is wet with tears, I soak my bed with weeping. Grief dims my eyes; they are worn out with all my woes.” (Psalm 6: 6-7)

The comfort is that “though [our] fathers and [our] mothers forsake [us], the Lord takes [us] into His care.” (Psalm 27:10) In the Lord, “[we] find refuge.” (Psalm 7: 1) Yet, often we are left feeling abandoned, crying out: “When my prayer comes back unanswered, I walk with head bowed in grief as if for a brother; as one in sorrow for his mother I lay prostrate in mourning… O Lord, how long wilt Thou look on at those who hate me for no reason?” (Psalm 35: 13-14, 17)

We must remain “joyful in hope, patient in affliction” writes Paul. (Romans 12:12, NIV) This joyful hope as we wrestle with pain and a feeling of unanswered prayer is the essence of our faith, our belief in the essential goodness of our God. Without this faith, we are unable to “be strong” or to “take courage.” Without this faith in God’s perfection, we do not “wait for the Lord.”

Know that God is good, that He loves us beyond measure, beyond comprehension. Like the psalmist, we each must say: “But for my part I trust in Thy true love. My heart rejoices, for Thou hast set me free. I sing to the Lord, who grants all my desire.” (Psalm 13:5-6)

“Joy Is Possible” (Romans 12: 12, HCSB) by Carley Evans


Paul expects us to “rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer.” Our hope rests on the finished work of Jesus Christ. Therefore, joy is possible. In moments of pain, our patience emerges from Christ’s own patience as He endures the Cross. Our prayer life is also continuous and persistent as we walk within the power of the Holy Spirit.

Be joyful, be patient, be persistent. “Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.” (Romans 12: 21)

“Our Comfort Also Overflows” (2 Corinthians 1: 3 – 4, HCSB) by Carley Evans


Paul strongly reminds us that God is “the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction.”

As we receive comfort in all troubled situations, so we are able and expected to comfort others as they face any affliction.

“For since [Jesus] Himself is tested and suffers, He is able to help those who are tested.” (Hebrews 2: 18) Since He helps us in our sufferings, we should help others as they face hardships.

Often the best person to aid another in a troubled place is the one who has been in that same difficulty. Unless you have experienced a particular hardship, it is impossible to honestly say to the other, “I understand how you feel.”

Additionally, God expects us to show others mercy as He is merciful to us. How can we hold a grudge against another when Jesus so readily forgives us our sins?

Jesus says, “{God] is gracious to the ungrateful and evil. Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6: 35 – 37)

Let us remember that “as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so through Christ our comfort also overflows.” (2 Corinthians 1: 5)

“Eternal Weight Of Glory” (2 Corinthians 4: 16 – 17, ESV) by Carley Evans


Consider that carrying the eternal weight of glory needs preparation. “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.”

Compared to the weight of glory, the afflictions we bear now are said to be light, fleeting, bearable.

The Holy Spirit within us is the guarantee that “what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.” (2 Corinthians 5: 4) Presently “we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling.” (2 Corinthians 5: 2) We long for our better country.

“From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh.” (2 Corinthians 5: 16) Instead, we see each other as new creations in Christ, born again of the Spirit of Christ, who died for us. Compared to His sufferings, our afflictions are truly inconsequential.

“As servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities.” (2 Corinthians 6: 4) We also commend ourselves “by the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness.” (2 Corinthians 6: 7)

We are being prepared for the eternal weight of His glory.