Sunday, November 15

Our present troubles are small…

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 3-6

2 Corinthians 4:16–18 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

Observation

Paul was facing incredible difficulties, yet he refused to give up.  He lists those difficulties in v. 8-12:

8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. 

11 Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. 12 So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.

What a list!  Pressed on every side by troubles, perplexed, hunted down, knocked down, suffering, living under constant danger of death.

And you think 2020 has been hard!

I hear lots of protesting and grumbling about 2020 and the hardships we’ve faced.  I get it; they’re real, and hard.  But we also need some perspective and Paul gives that to us here.  “Our present troubles are small and won’t last very long.”

Application

Instead of giving up or protesting, let’s look for how God wants to renew our spirits.  Let’s think about the “glory that vastly outweighs them all,” and how we can join God in that.  

Let’s change our perspective: “we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen.”  

Our present troubles are small compared to the big things God wants to do in us.  And they won’t last very long compared to eternal work God is doing in us!

Prayer: Lord, give me, give us this eternal perspective and the courage and hope that comes with it.