As we continue through the epistle of Second Corinthians, we’re seeing Paul’s attitude toward the ministry. He views the challenges that he faces as a way to see God’s power at work in his life.
This power then becomes a source of life for those he ministers to. He stays focused on the benefits rather than the struggles.
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 4:17-18
What really speaks to me about his attitude is the first part of his statement. He describes the pressures as light and momentary.
From my perspective, some of his troubles seemed to linger on and on. How could he call them momentary?
I believe it was because he turned them over to Christ daily. He let them go. So, each new day was viewed as a brand new pressure. We need to follow that example. I think that it would go a long way toward changing the bad attitudes that we get sometimes.
Instead of the problems, Paul focused his attention on the glory that was being accomplished in him. He makes an interesting comparison. Temporary troubles; eternal glory. Light pressure; far heavier weight of glory. The apostle found that it was worth the trade-off.
The question is; how does this really work? The answer to that question is a little hidden in the English translations. By adding the word, “so”, it sounds like we fix our eyes on the eternal because of the glory.
That’s not really what it says. The original is all one sentence. It says, in effect…
Our pressures are working in us an eternal glory, not as we look to the seen, but the unseen.
That tells me that the only time pressures are working for my good, is when I focus on the eternal. When I keep looking at the troubles, they’re wearing me down.
We need to take this truth to heart. Keep the Word of God before you. That’s what works God’s glory in you during the challenging times.
Problems and challenges are going to continue to come my way. But the realization is that if I can see it, then it can be changed. It’s the unseen things – the things of the spirit – that remain eternal.
The Apostle Peter understood this as well.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
1 Peter 5:10
Look to the unseen, eternal truths of God’s Word. That’s what will sustain and strengthen you during these challenging times.
Question: How do you stay focused on the eternal?
© 2020 Nick Zaccardi