I have recently been reading Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians as part of my own private devotions. Although I have been both challenged and encouraged by different things within the text, one thing has stood out to me more clearly than any other.
On this occasion Paul writes to those who he knows and loves in order to, among other things; defend his reputation from those who oppose him. Yet, after rebuking them he writes, ‘I have spoken to you with great frankness; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds’ (2 Co 7:4). Would you please consider those staggering words for just one moment? Paul, as was so often the case was battered but not beaten. Indeed, despite the persecution he faces from Rome, the hatred he experienced from his own race and now the rejection of his friends he says that, his ‘joy knows no bounds’.
I believe that this is what God intends to be the very heart of our understanding of and experience of Him. That despite the circumstance or situation in which we find ourselves, God wants us to know a deep sense of acceptance, security and indeed joy in Him. Therefore to quote John Piper, ‘Christ is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him’.