“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
How do you view the Bible? Some people view it as a dusty book of Jewish history, not for our time. Others view it as literature, which it surely does contain. Still others view it as interesting, but kind of far-fetched and hard to square with our scientific minds. But, oh, my friend, I am here to tell you that it is so much more! And how you view the Bible will 100% affect your relationship with God. So, as Jesus said, “I tell you the truth.” And here it is:
God’s Word is a bounty of timeless truths. Wisdom and inspiration woven seemlessly into 66 books encompassing history, law, prophecy, poetry, letters, and revelation.
Delving into this chest of treasures produces fresh insights daily. Why? Because the Word is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). No other book dares to make that claim or could ever substantiate it. Simply put: this is God’s gift to us to be unwrapped daily and put into practice.
I discovered this personally after my central vision loss. Even though I had read the Bible for years, had studied it at a Christian college, and had even believed it… it did not catapult the page into the cracked places of my heart until the soil had been prepared. That happened through brokenness. God uses the most unlikely circumstances to draw followers to Himself. Unlikely to us, but what do we know, really?
We NEED the wisdom provided in this book in order to understand anything.
So I found myself clinging to the above verse from Paul to the Corinthians at a devastating time. And over the years, it’s become a “life verse,” meaning the words speak directly to my circumstance and hold personal meaning. I refer to it often and have memorized it. It grabs me right from the beginning:
Therefore, we do not lose heart. Wait! Does someone have a camera on me? It certainly feels like God understands this tendency of mine.You see…my default reaction is “losing heart.” I specialize in it. I could teach a class in “Losing Heart 101” if it were anything worth sharing. But God is saying, “Let’s not go there.”
Though outwardly we are wasting away (yes, I can see that), yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. Renewed? What a great concept! I don’t know about you, but I need this daily re-fueling. A kind of nourishment that can only flow from a supernatural power, and not just any, but the very maker of heaven and earth. Now I’m warming to Paul’s message.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. How can our losses be viewed as “light and momentary” ? In view of eternity. Furthermore, our “troubles” are working for us. Now this is counter-cultural thinking at its best. “Troubles” are “achieving an eternal glory” by exposing our need for God and that drives us to Him. To view obstacles as opportunities requires the mind of Christ. The Holy Spirit aids us here if we are willing.
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. Of course! Don’t you know this to be true? We’ve all witnessed the temporal nature of this life, so don’t let the enemy trick you into thinking only of the here and now. It’s actually quite dangerous.
And God wants more for you. This life disappoints, but He never does! So be bold enough to shun the cultural here and now and unwrap the gift of God’s Word. Book by book, chapter by chapter, and verse by verse.