DON’T LOSE HEART
Lord of all, I pray for an open mind and a willing spirit, so that I might learn your truth and share it.
Read 2 CORINTHIANS 4:13-18
13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”[a] Since we have that same spirit of[b] faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectIf today you are tempted to be disheartened, try to step back from your immediate circumstances and look at the bigger picture.
When I was discussing some minor ailment with a friend recently, he said to me, ‘Well, we are all outwardly wasting away.’ Not altogether helpful, but undoubtedly true! Paul draws a series of contrasts here (vs 16–18). Outwardly wasting away, but inwardly being renewed; brief trials but lasting glory; visible things that are temporary, but unseen things that are eternal. Living with these paradoxes, Paul is neither perplexed nor frustrated, but emboldened (3:12; 4:1).
The key issue is the towering truth of the resurrection. I happen to be writing this note on Easter Sunday. ‘The Lord is risen! He is risen indeed!’ Here and now we are risen with Christ (Colossians 3:1) and one day, beyond ‘the changes and chances of this fleeting world’, we will stand in his presence (v 14). This changes everything.
Moreover, this secure future with Christ flows back into our present trials and tribulations, putting them into perspective and firing us to speak life-changing truth, and display amazing grace for the good of those around us and to the glory of God (vs 13,15). Are you feeling a bit less disheartened?
‘Lo, Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb; / Lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom … / Thine be the glory, risen, conqu’ring Son …’ (Edmond Budry, 1854–1932).
Dear Lord, above all else, I want to finish the race strongly. I praise you for the assurance that one day I will dwell in your house forever.
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