2 Corinthians 4:16-18 - Look Beyond The Gloom To The Glory! [addendum]

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 - Look Beyond The Gloom To The Glory!  

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (PHIL)  This is the reason why we never 
lose heart.  The outward man does indeed suffer wear and tear, but 
every day the inward man receives fresh strength. 17 These little 
troubles (which really are so transitory) are winning for us a permanent, 
glorious and solid reward out of all proportion to our pain. 18 For we 
are looking all the time not at the visible things but at the 
invisible.  The visible things are transitory: it is the invisible things 
that are really permanent. 

Growth And Glory
  As I write, gardeners in my yard are pruning back old, unruly 
growth to make way for new. Without constant maintenance our entire 
world would soon be an overgrown, chaotic mess--much like I felt after 
my first chemotherapy treatment. After the surgical insertion of my 
port catheter and my first round of "chemo cocktails," I tried to eat 
a little something. That's when the chaos began. I couldn't hold 
down food, liquids, or medicine. The vomiting didn't stop until 
midnight. An IV pumped liquids into my dehydrated body. Post-op infections 
and fiery mouth sores brought overwhelming pain. 
  While I was crying out to God for relief, 2 Corinthians 4 came 
to mind. The passage speaks of heaven and the realities we face 
each day that are really only "momentary" in relation to eternity. I 
have to admit that during that difficult time, heaven never seemed so 
glorious. I longed for a place without pain or misery. I wanted to be 
"taken away!' And I will be one day. But for now, my "light and 
momentary troubles" are just that. They will pass. What I pray does not 
pass is the newfound hope and glory that heaven holds for me--and for 
you, too. One thing is certain: Heaven is not a chaotic mess. God has 
maintained that realm well. 
  Deb Christensen, married to Dan for twenty-seven years and the 
mother of four, is a breast-cancer survivor and a former missionary 
with The Navigators collegiate ministries. [The One Year Bible Live 
Verse Devotional] 

Our Light Afflictions
  Some people would argue that the concept Paul presents in 
these verses is a cop-out, an "opiate." Indeed, if we are trying to 
avoid the pressures of life and secure some future pleasure, they 
might be right. However, if we are fixing our eyes on the eternal God 
and he is transforming us into his likeness, that's another story! 
  Our challenge is to learn to see Jesus as he is. Paul tells us 
to leave our worldly understanding behind and to lay hold of the 
true, eternal Treasure, Jesus himself. Jesus told the Samaritan woman, 
"God is Spirit," and therefore, spiritually discerned, and his 
disciples, "On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you 
are in me, and I am in you" (John 14:20, NIV). "That day" was after 
his resurrection, and it is now. Our present troubles are designed 
to turn our attention away from the temporal and toward the 
eternal, that we might live in God's glory, now and forever! 
  LORD JESUS, focus my eyes clearly on the eternal, for that 
puts my present troubles into a proper perspective. Help me to see 
you as you are, to perceive you with my spirit, not just with my 
mind, and to realize that you are in me and I am in you! What glory! 
[Praying Through The Bible By Fuller] 

God will never be a debtor to anyone. That means that any 
"sacrifice" we make or hardship we endure for His sake and by His Spirit, He 
will amply reward out of all proportion to what we suffered. [Life 
Principles SB By Charles Stanley] 


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