Bible Society of South Africa
3 April 2024Xanthe Hancox

Focus your faith on Him – Day 8

Don’t lose heart

Bible text(s)

Living by Faith

16For this reason we never become discouraged. Even though our physical being is gradually decaying, yet our spiritual being is renewed day after day. 17And this small and temporary trouble we suffer will bring us a tremendous and eternal glory, much greater than the trouble. 18For we fix our attention, not on things that are seen, but on things that are unseen. What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts for ever.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18GNBOpen in Bible reader

As soon as we’re born, we begin to die. Not exactly the cheeriest thought for your day, but it’s true. All of us are wasting away physically, no matter how spritely you might feel.

However, Paul has not resigned himself to suffering and approaching death, and neither should we. He’s not being fatalistic here, he’s reminding us that as believers in Jesus Christ, there’s something far bigger going on.

God is not asking you to treat pain as though it were pleasure, or grief as though it were joy, but to see your earthly troubles in the light of heavenly glory and, thereby, be strengthened to endure.

When we look at our troubles with an eternal perspective, we see them as they actually are. Our bodies may decline in physical strength, but, inwardly, we’re growing in spiritual strength.

Note the relation between verse 16 and verse 18; this inner transformation in the midst of outer decay does not happen automatically. In other words, the renewal Paul describes only occurs while “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”.

As we fix the gaze of our hearts on the glorious hope of the age to come, God renews our inner being, notwithstanding the simultaneous decay of our outer being! Note also that this is no fleeting glance or passing thought about eternal glory; Paul is talking about an attentive and studious concentration on the inestimable blessings of heaven.

Paul is warning us against fixating on what this world can provide and calling us to set our hope and confidence on the eternal values of God’s kingdom.

Here, then, is the power to persevere: by setting your mind, fixing your gaze and focusing your heart on the unseen, yet, eternal realities of what God has secured for you in Christ.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.21.9
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