2 Corinthians 4:16-18 - Why We Don't Give Up.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18: Why We Don't Give Up.
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.
The apostle Paul gave two reasons why he didn't give up. Even
though he acknowledged the limitations of his body, that didn't make
him quit. Why not?
First, no matter how our bodies feel, our spirits are being
renewed every day if we are in contact with God. If your spirit isn't
being renewed, you may not be taking full advantage of connecting with
God through prayer. His arms are open wide as he waits to receive
Second, our present troubles are small and won't last long.
Now, Paul had enemies who wanted to kill him. He traveled hundreds of
miles on foot, over roads with thieves, terrible weather, and wild
animals. Yet he said his troubles were small. Why? Because he compared
them to the glory ahead that vastly outweighed his earthly hardships.
In that light, could your troubles be called small too?
Keeping our eyes focused on God will shrink our problems down to
size. [The Daniel Plan 365-Day Devotional re vss. 16, 17]
Are you living your life against the backdrop of eternity?
That should be the setting for all that unfolds in the life of a
believer and for our interactions with those we love.
After all, being God's children assures us of eternal life in
Christ. That certain future helps us remember that everything physical
is temporal, that all suffering is momentary. Ironically, however,
adversity is what often enables the beauty of Christ's life to be
displayed in our mortal bodies. The hard times testify of God's goodness
as He walks us through them; these trials are also a testimony that
this present world and our physical bodies are only temporary.
The pain, the struggles, the worries, the disappointments,
the tragedies, the losses - all of this is very real. But this life
lasts for but a blink of an eye, and then comes eternity. Step back
for a moment and remind yourself that these temporary agonies fade
in light of eternity's magnificence. It's a matter of perspective,
so consider your life in light of eternity - and don't lose heart.
[Being Still With God Every Day by Henry Blackaby re vss. 16, 17]
Gaze at Me; glance at problems - this is the secret of living
victoriously. Your tendency is to gaze at problems for prolonged periods of
time, glancing at Me for help. This is natural for someone with a
fallen mind living in a fallen world. However, I have called you to
live supernaturally, and I have empowered you to do so. The Holy
Spirit, who lives in all My followers, enables you to live beyond
yourself - to transcend your natural tendencies.
Ask My Spirit to help you fix your gaze on Me. Invite Him to
alert you whenever you get overly focused on problems so you can
redirect your attention to Me. This is hard work, because it is not only
unnatural but also countercultural. Moreover, the evil one and his demons
seek to distract you from My Presence. All these influences working
together put massive pressure on you to pay attention to your problems -
or else! So you need the assistance of My Spirit continually. Ask
Him to help you deal with difficulties as needed, while reserving
the bulk of your attention for Me - your constant Companion. (Heb.
12:2; John 14:16, 17; 2Co. 4:18) [Jesus Today by Sarah Young]
I am with you in all that you do, even in the most menial
task. I am always aware of you, concerned with every detail of your
life. Nothing escapes My notice - not even the number of hairs on your
head. However, your awareness of My Presence falters and flickers; as
a result, your life experience feels fragmented. When your focus
is broad enough to include Me in your thoughts, you feel safe and
complete. When your perception narrows so that problems or details fill
your consciousness, you feel empty and incomplete.
Learn to look steadily at Me in all your moments and all your
circumstances. Though the world is unstable and in flux, you can experience
continuity through your uninterrupted awareness of My Presence. Fix your
gaze on what is unseen, even as the visible world parades before your
eyes. (Mat. 10:29-31; Heb. 11:27; 2Co. 4:18) [Jesus Calling by Sarah
Remember the great fish that swallowed Jonah whole (Jonah
1:17)? Maybe you feel that way right now. But it isn't a sea monster
that's treating you like fish food; it's a painful situation in your
life - chronic pain, an illness, or a tough situation with a loved
one. You try to think of something else and move on, but your
circumstances won't let your mind rest. The truth is, you can change your
focus. In today's Scripture, Paul writes, "We fix our eyes not on what
is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary,
but what is unseen is eternal." Speak your determination - out loud.
Say to your situation, "You are not the focus of my life! No, I will
fix my eyes on eternal realities, heavenly hope, and the
overwhelming glory that awaits me, because I'm laying up the treasures of my
heart above. Refocus your gaze on Jesus today and find peace.
Lord, insistent voices shout for my attention today. I feel
distracted, drawn away from that sweet walk with You that I value above all
else. I'm not able to refocus in my own strength. Please draw my eyes,
the gaze of my heart, away from all other diversions and demands.
Fill my vision, if only for a moment, with heaven. [A Spectacle of
Glory by Joni Eareckson Tada and Larry Libby re 2 Corinthians 4:18]
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT
Most Important Decision in Life:
A Man without Equal by Bill Bright:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiVa7UoruIo [old, but one of the best]
Importance of Choice:
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]
Seeking God Made Real: http://vimeo.com/31489782
Prayer Made Real: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tc8VdMV26VE
Musical Devotional On Christian Living:
Medical Seminar on Healthful Living by David DeRose, MD, MPH:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDIES
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies: http://www.liftingupjesus.net/
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Discover Bible Studies: http://studies.itiswritten.com/discover/
Glow Tract Video Bible Studies: http://www.bibleresearch.info/
LINKS FOR BIBLE PROPHECY SEMINARS
The Last Day of Prophecy by Pastor Doug Batchelor:
Restoring The Power by John Bradshaw:
Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet:
Last Day Prophecy: His Other Sheep by Pastor Gerald Babanezhad: