II CORINTHIANS 4:16-18: “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” NLT
OBSERVATION: Are you in the midst of a prolonged struggle that feels like it will ever end? Do you look at this world and grow increasingly discouraged wondering if anything will ever change? Does hope seem out of reach? Are you ready to give up? Paul has a word for you and me when we feel like this.
DON’T GIVE UP!
Paul never denies nor diminishes the struggle of life that we all face. There are times when we are at our wit’s end. Like David, who poured out his heart in the Psalms, God seems far away. We wonder if this is all worth it. Again, Paul reminds us.
- “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 NLT
On the Damascus road, Paul had an attitude adjustment. Hardened in his opposition to the Apostles and the church, he met Jesus on his way to persecute Christians. This encounter changed his life and his perspective. It was the light of Jesus’ life that transformed Paul and changed his entire perspective. Jesus sent Ananias to Paul to lay hands on him to receive his sight and also to tell him how much he would have to suffer for the name of Jesus Christ.
Paul writes in all his epistles the power of this transforming change. We are always going through the process of death and life. As we die to our old nature we are freed to walk in His newness and life. Our perspective and desires turn heavenward as we see this life as the temporary vapor that it really is. It is this constant transformative experience that gives us the hope and strength to carry on!
- “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!”
Who wouldn’t exchange something that is growing old and dying for something that will last forever? Is it any wonder why the enemy of our souls constantly tries to get us to lose heart? He tries to convince us that our present struggle is all there is and that it will last forever. The truth is – it will pass and God will redeem it for His good purposes. We are going through a constant process of death to glory.
And, this glory will last forever!
This reality should change our perspective. It is God’s spiritual Lasik surgery that takes away our temporal perspective and gives us an eternal perspective. As we are transformed by His light and life we are given the ability to see life for what it is. Life is the temporary preparation for our future glory in Jesus Christ our Lord! When we see life through these lenses it gives us the strength to carry on!
WE DON’T GIVE UP!
- “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”
Lord, give me the ability to see today’s struggles with an eternal perspective. Remind me that You will never leave me nor forsake me. The present troubles will pass and they cannot compare to the glory that awaits. Let me focus on that which will last forever!
- “…But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:8-9 NLT
In Jesus Name!