“16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (ESV)
Don’t lose heart. But why would Paul need to remind the Christians in Corinth to not lose heart? Because discouragement can set in at any time based on the circumstances that we have to face and endure.
“Don’t lose heart.” Can you sense the passionate conviction jump out from those words? Don’t lose heart. Don’t give up. Don’t give in.
Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed by day day.
While we may not see what God is doing or how he is changing us, the Scriptures reveal to us that we are being renewed every single day. So the person that you are today is not the person that you were yesterday. Every single day God is renewing us and changing us into the likeness of Jesus. And how is he doing it?
For this light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,…
That’s right. Some of the tools in the tool chest of God’s workshop of refinement and sanctification are the “light and momentary afflictions” that we face and have to deal with. Please understand what Paul is not saying when he says light and momentary. He is not saying that what we as Christians may have to endure is not difficult. Rather, what he is saying is that when we compare what we are facing with what is coming for us, there’s really no comparison. He is moving the Christians in Corinth back to hope, the kind of hope that will cause them to no lose heart.
But how do we truly believe and accept that?
…we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are unseen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
That word transient means:
1 for a season. 2 enduring only for a while. 3 temporary.
What is temporary? These light and momentary afflictions are but for a season. And these light and momentary afflictions are accomplishing a work in us that have an eternal impact and are bringing us closer and closer to an eternal glory. It comes down to having heaven as a prize and the unseen as our true reality. It’s about looking to Jesus, the beginner and finisher of our faith. It’s about trusting that God knows what he’s doing even when we don’t understand him or his ways. It’s about coming back to the simple faith of a child and walking humbly with God as he changes and works in us for our good and for his glory.
We are not the same as we were yesterday, and we are not today who we will be tomorrow. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). So while I can’t explain the why behind everything that is going on your life, I can promise you this: God is faithfully present and active in the process until the process is complete, changing and renewing us day by day.