“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
~II Corinthians 4:16-18
As many of you may realize, this passage is one of my favorites as evidenced by the title of this blog, So I Fix My Eyes. It’s a passage that has really ministered to my soul over these several years and has become a vision and mission in my life. So I could not go through this II Corinthians study without taking a moment to ponder, discuss, and meditate on this powerful passage.
The context of this passage is Paul’s listings of various ways God had shown His faithfulness. The apostles’ were afflicted in all ways but not crushed, persecuted but not forsaken, struck down but not destroyed. After going through all these things, which God was using for His glory, Paul then makes this statement: “So we do not lose heart.” Despite all the difficult, hard, and negative stuff he had experienced and was walking through, he refused to lose heart and become discouraged.
Why? Because he knew and fully believed this precious truth: “this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” Wow! That gives a whole new spin on affliction and what our perspective should be. Our struggles, pains, sorrows, and afflictions here on earth are preparing for us an eternal glory beyond our wildest imaginations. What a promise!
But there is one condition. In order for this to come about we must do one thing. We must fix our eyes and minds on the eternal. We cannot get caught up in the things of this world that are fleeting and passing away, but rather focus on the eternal—the things God cares about. If we do this, then our temporary sorrows here on earth will prepare for us that eternal weight of glory.
So how do we know what things are eternal and what things are temporary? Paul gives us the answer in this passage. The eternal things are unseen, while the things that are seen are temporary or transient. In other words, all those things that the world looks at, recognizes, and acknowledges are probably not going to last into eternity. They are temporary, transient, and fleeting. However, the small acts of kindness, prayers lifted up in the middle of the night, time spent on the phone or computer ministering to a friend, all these are actions that the world may not be conscious of or consider as significant, but God does and richly rewards in eternity.
Therefore, let us purpose to fix our eyes on that which is unseen, and focus our minds and lives on the eternal.
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