Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Today, let’s focus on eternity. Sounds nice, but this is not going to get the laundry done, the kids to school, the report finished for your boss, or your research paper turned in. Neither will this line of thinking change any of those interruptions and obstacles you are currently facing. I know reflecting on eternity sounds a bit flighty, but stay with me.
Stuff happens. We've heard a variety of slogans with this theme. The idea is that somehow everything that comes our way is a product of fate or chance, but not purpose. Yet, the Lord promises everything that comes our way (both the good and the bad) has the power to form us for the life we were meant to live, which is beyond the one here.
Today's passage begins with a reminder not to lose heart. Is this a threat? Are there things that happen to us and in us that cause us to lose heart? Of course. Life is hard. Sometimes our days feel like a series of interruptions strung together. And with every obstacle that comes our way, the opportunity to lose heart is right by its side.
In 2 Corinthians 4, we are told to stay in the game and understand that this life is not all there is. Paul refers to life’s interruptions as “light and momentary troubles." He says this not to diminish anyone’s struggle. Paul understood difficulty all too well considering he wrote this letter in the middle of persecution and despair. However, he was still able to view his troubles as momentary and light.
Momentary in the context of eternity.
Paul knew that anything that he lived through God could use for his growth. Paul understood something critical about difficulty: it achieves God’s goals.
The same principle holds true in our own lives. Every frustration and difficulty have the opportunity to form us in the deepest places of our hearts. It is a matter of sight. We are commanded to “fix our eyes."
How are you going to gain hold of this perspective today? What are you missing by only seeing things from your limited perspective, while the most glorious work of all goes undetected? How can you have faith to know what you are dealing with is temporary?
Seeing things from this perspective is the only way to make sure that your life today makes a difference in eternity.
• What things will you do today that will make a difference eternally?
Lord, eternity provides the context for my temporary life here. Do not let me dismiss this idea. Let me be diligent in finding Your purposes in everything that I encounter. Help me to focus my eyes on that which I cannot see - so that I do not miss You in the middle of my life. I will trust You. In Your Name, Jesus. Amen.