“That is why we never give up. Our physical body is becoming older and weaker, but our spirit inside us is made new every day. We have small troubles for a while now, but these troubles are helping us gain an eternal glory. That eternal glory is much greater than our troubles. So we think about what we cannot see, not what we see. What we see lasts only a short time, and what we cannot see will last forever.”
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ERV
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ERV
This is one of my favorite set of verses. I have prayed this many times before when life seemed unbearable. So many truths are contained.
First, we must never give up! God wants us to have the perseverance in every area of our life to stay in the race! There will be many reasons to quit. There will be distractions along the roadside that look better than the race we are on. The enemy wants us to quit and will do anything to get us to quit. But for the joy set before us, it is worth staying in the race for one more step and then another and then another.
School teachers, finish strong this year. Parents, finish strong in loving and giving grace to your kids. Spouses, finish strong in really loving your spouse until you meet the Lord and hear him say, "Well done." Singles, finish strong in waiting on the Lord to provide a godly helpmate. I tell my students all the time, "Summer will be here in a few weeks whether you finish strong or finish like a loser." I really do tell them that:):):).
Another truth that I see is that even though our physical bodies are growing older, our spiritual bodies can actually be gaining vitality and strength. That is an exciting promise to me as I am almost 62. I can surely tell that my physical body is getting weaker and wearing out. But if I continue following the Lord, I can feel stronger in my spiritual walk. That is an incredible thought! However, just as we have to decide how we will take care of our physical body with good choices, we have to draw a line in the sand and commit to maintaining our spiritual growth.
I need to be reminded of the next truth on a daily basis. We will have troubles. But the troubles are helping us gain an eternal glory. A simple way to look at this is to compare this to our physical body. Last night at Body Pump, there was a difficult set of exercises and I just did not think I could raise the weights above my head one more time. I had to keep thinking "for the joy set before me, I will endure the pain." In the scheme of life, who cares if I lifted that weight to be made physically stronger but it helps me to remember that a trial and trouble can make me stronger in the spiritual world. I want to praise Him for the trial and trouble because He has an eternal plan in mind.
The main reason I prayed this verse so many times is the part about praying for the unseen. If my prayers are full of my ideas and my plans and my wisdom, than I am leaving God out of the equation. That means I am praying to myself and not the almighty, all powerful God. If my prayers are depending on my strength, why bother? I want to pray for the impossible. I want my prayers to be for eternal things that I maybe I will not see until the other side of heaven.
What we see lasts only a short time, and what we cannot see will last forever.”