2 Corinthians 4:16-18 - How To Look Beyond The Gloom To The Glory.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 - How To Look Beyond The Gloom To The
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (Phillips) 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.
"Fix your eyes on the unseen." That's like telling someone to
listen to the silence or taste the air. It sounds like a joke. And it
begs an obvious question: how? What eyes do we use to observe the
unseen? How do we gaze at what isn't even visible? If anyone expected an
experience of God's Presence to be simple, verses like this prove that it
isn't. We have to tap into another realm.
Paul isn't teasing, of course. We can fix our eyes on the
unseen. We don't use the eyes of the flesh, obviously; they're only good
at perceiving visible light reflecting off of concrete objects. But
we do have eyes of the heart, the very ones that Paul prayed would
be enlightened to perceive God's wisdom and revelation (Ephesians
1:18). Those eyes can gaze into the eternal realm of spirits, where God
and His angels are more real than the world our five senses
perceive. When we view life through the eyes of the heart, we are able to
recognize God and understand the limits of temporary experiences. We are
not overcome by temptation, we endure hardship, we value souls over
material things, we seek purpose over passing pleasures, and we draw
close to God Himself. We can do all of that because we're focused on a
higher reality than most people see.
The Presence is a palpable reality for those who have
cultivated their eyes to see the unseen, and it's frustratingly elusive for
those who haven't. Improve your vision by choosing God's truth over
human wisdom, by refusing to bow to immediate impulses and demands, by
noticing the flow of God's voice, and by asking Him to help. He loves to
give sight to the blind.
Lord, give me eyes to see eternal realities. Change my focus.
Divorce me from the tyranny of the tangible - what my physical senses
perceive - and give me Kingdom eyes. [The One Year Experiencing God's
Presence Devotional by Chris Tiegreen]
Stay calmly conscious of Me today, no matter what. Remember that
I go before you as well as with you into the day. Nothing takes Me
by surprise. I will not allow circumstances to overwhelm you, so
long as you look to Me. I will help you cope with whatever the moment
presents. Collaborating with Me brings blessings that far outweigh all
your troubles. Awareness of My Presence contains Joy that can endure
all eventualities. (Psa. 23:1-4; 2 Cor. 4:16-17) [Jesus Calling by
I am with you and for you. You face nothing alone - nothing!
When you feel anxious, know that you are focusing on the visible
world and leaving Me out of the picture. The remedy is simple: Fix
your eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen. Verbalize your
trust in Me, the Living One who sees you always. I will get you safely
through this day and all your days. But you can find Me only in the
present. Each day is a precious gift from My Father. How ridiculous to
grasp for future gifts when today's is set before you! Receive today's
gift gratefully, unwrapping it tenderly and delving into its depths.
As you savor this gift, you find Me. (Rom. 8:31; 2Co. 4:18; Gen.
16:13-14) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
I am leading you along the high road, but there are descents
as well as ascents. In the distance you see snow-covered peaks
glistening in brilliant sunlight. Your longing to reach those peaks is
good, but you must not take shortcuts. Your assignment is to follow
Me, allowing Me to direct your path. Let the heights beckon you
onward, but stay close to Me.
Learn to trust Me when things go "wrong." Disruptions to your
routine highlight your dependence on Me. Trusting acceptance of trials
brings blessings that far outweigh them all. Walk hand in hand with Me
through this day. I have lovingly planned every inch of the way. Trust
does not falter when the path becomes rocky and steep. Breathe deep
draughts of My Presence, and hold tightly to My hand. Together we can
make it! (John 21:19; 2 Cor. 4:17; Hab. 3:19) [Luke 9:23] [Jesus
Calling by Sarah Young]
In Me you have everything. In Me you are complete. Your
capacity to experience Me is increasing, through My removal of debris and
clutter from your heart. As your yearning for Me increases, other
desires are gradually lessening. Since I am infinite and abundantly
accessible to you, desiring Me above all else is the best way to live.
It is impossible for you to have a need that I cannot meet.
After all, I created you and everything that is. The world is still at
My beck and call, though it often appears otherwise. Do not be
fooled by appearances. Things that are visible are brief and fleeting,
while things that are invisible are everlasting. (Eph. 3:20; 2 Co.
4:18) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
Do not search for security in the world you inhabit. You tend
to make mental checklists of things you need to do in order to gain
control of your life. If only you could check everything off your list,
you could relax and be at peace. But the more you work to accomplish
that goal, the more things crop up on your list. The harder you try,
the more frustrated you become.
There is a better way to find security in this life. Instead
of scrutinizing your checklist, focus your attention on My Presence
with you. This continual contact with Me will keep you in My Peace.
Moreover, I will help you sort out what is important and what is not, what
needs to be done now and what does not. Fix your eyes not on what is
seen (your circumstances), but on what is unseen (My Presence). (Isa.
26:3; 2 Cor. 4:18) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
When you approach Me in stillness and in trust, you are
strengthened. You need a buffer zone of silence around you in order to focus
on things that are unseen. Since I am invisible, you must not let
your senses dominate your thinking. The curse of this age is
overstimulation of the senses, which blocks out awareness of the unseen world.
The tangible world still reflects My Glory, to those who have
eyes that see and ears that hear. Spending time alone with Me is the
best way to develop seeing eyes and hearing ears. The goal is to be
aware of unseen things even as you live out your life in the visible
world. (2 Cor. 4:18; Isa. 6:3; Psa. 130:5) [Psa. 46:10] [Jesus Calling
by Sarah Young]
Try to see things more and more from My perspective. Let the
Light of My Presence so fully fill your mind that you view the world
through Me. When little things don't go as you had hoped, look to Me
lightheartedly and say, Oh, well. This simple discipline can protect you from
being burdened with an accumulation of petty cares and frustrations.
If you practice this diligently, you will make a life-changing
discovery: You realize that most of the things that worry you are not
important. If you shrug them off immediately and return your focus to Me,
you will walk through your days with lighter steps and a joyful
When serious problems come your way, you will have more
reserves for dealing with them. You will not have squandered your energy
on petty problems. You may even reach the point where you can agree
with the apostle Paul that all your troubles are light and momentary,
compared with the eternal glory being achieved by them. A man's steps are
directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way? (Pro.
20:24; 2 Cor. 4:17, 18) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
The question is often asked, "Why is human life drenched in
so much blood and soaked with so many tears?" The answer is found
in the word "achieving," for these "momentary troubles are
achieving for us" something very precious. They are teaching us not only
the way to victory but, better still, the law of victory--there is a
reward for every sorrow, and the sorrow itself produces the reward. It
is the very truth expressed in this dear old hymn, written by Sarah
Adams in 1840:
Nearer my God to Thee, nearer to Thee,
E'en though it be a cross that raiseth me.
Joy sometimes needs pain to give it birth. Fanny Crosby was a
American hymn writer who lived from 1820 to 1915 and who wrote
more than two thousand hymns. Yet she could never have written the
beautiful words "I shall see Him face to face" if not for the fact that
she had never gazed upon green fields, evening sunsets, nor even the
twinkle in her mother's eye. It was the loss of her own vision that
helped her to gain her remarkable spiritual discernment and insight.
It is comforting to know that sorrow stays only for the night
and then takes its leave in the morning. And a thunderstorm is very
brief when compared to a long summer day. Remember, "Weeping may
remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning" (Ps. 30:5).from
Songs in the Night
There is a peace that springs soon after sorrow,
Of hope surrendered, not of hope fulfilled;
A peace that does not look upon tomorrow,
But calmly on the storm that it has stilled.
A peace that lives not now in joy's excesses,
Nor in the happy life of love secure;
But in the unerring strength the heart possesses,
Of conflicts won while learning to endure.
A peace there is, in sacrifice secluded,
A life subdued, from will and passion free;
It's not the peace that over Eden brooded,
But that which triumphed in Gethsemane. [Streams In The
Desert By Cowman]
There's a wonderful gospel song called "This Ole House." It's
been a favorite of Southern gospel music fans for decades, especially
those who love bass leads.
On the surface, the lyrics of "This Ole House" describe a
rickety old house that is decaying and beginning to fall down. The roof
is leaking, the shutters are falling off, the windows are broken,
and it shows other deteriorating features. The composer's conclusion
is "I ain't a-gonna need this house no longer."
The underlying message of the song is that, like the
Scripture passage above, our bodies (houses) are slowly decaying or dying,
but we are getting ready to meet the saints of heaven so we are not
going to need these old "houses" anyway.
When former president John Quincy Adams grew very old, he was
slowly and feebly walking down a street in Boston one day when an old
friend met him. Greeting him and shaking Adams's trembling hand, he
asked, "And how is John Quincy Adams today?"
"Thank you," said the ex-president. "John Quincy Adams is
well, quite well. I thank you. But the house in which he lives at
present is becoming quite dilapidated. It is tottering upon its
foundations. Time and the seasons have nearly destroyed it. Its roof is
pretty well worn out. Its walls are much shattered, and it trembles
with every wind. The old tenement is becoming almost uninhabitable,
and I think John Quincy Adams will have to move out of it soon. But
he himself is quite well, quite well."
In contrast to these old houses in which we live, God has
promised to give us glorious mansions in heaven when we arrive there. So
giving up this old house of mine will be like trading a worthless piece
of real estate for a palace. Who doesn't want to do that?
Dear God, I look forward to moving into my mansion in heaven
someday and being with you for all eternity. Amen. [The One Year
Devotional of Joy and Laughter by Mary Hollingsworth re 2 Cor. 4:16]
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]
LINKS FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE:
NEW SITE FOR CHRIST CENTERED BIBLE STUDIES:
Thunder in the Holy Land: http://qlp.tv/thunder-lessons/
NEW PROPHECY CRUSADE: LANDMARKS OF PROPHECY:
YouTube Announcement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cMVPybuWHU
SOME GREAT PRAISE SONGS:
I Believe in the Sun: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7lW6JrI3ls
Inscription of Hope- NJ Honor Choir (2007):
Trading My Sorrows: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KsfwvpcQhY