2 Corinthians 4:16-18
16 Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. 17 For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. 18 So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
Has anyone ever said to you, "Don't give up, the job is almost done"? We may have to work a little harder, but due to all the labor we have already put into the job we don't want to give up now.
Our body gets tired, our mind weary, someone has hurt our feelings, and as we get older "aging infirmities" set in. Perhaps you are in the prime of life and involved in so much at church that you lose heart because you just cannot keep up. The apostle Paul said, “Don't lose heart.”
We need to reach a place in our life that even though we are tired and discouraged we say, “I will not lose heart, I will keep on in the service of God and family.”
In verse 7 where Paul refers to “this treasure in jars of clay,” he is talking about the gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. As believers we have these things present with us always, so we cannot give up. Why? This treasure in us helps us to be encouraged every day. Jesus Christ is the treasure.
Now friends, so what if someone makes fun of you for being "a little over zealous for God"? Others may think that too much of God will cause problems with their social life, or "I have a right to do what I want to do.”
Miss Bertha Smith, a career missionary to China for years, once said in a conference, "Don't talk to me about your rights. The only right you have is to die and go to hell. Everything else is mercy." She encouraged us to look ahead at the things we cannot see and find Christ in our everyday life.
Let's look at this "light momentary affliction." On one side we have this struggle, but it is preparing for us "an eternal weight of glory." This glory is so beyond our mindset. It is hard to believe that we will be forever with God in heaven.
How often do we lose heart in living for Jesus day by day? Do we get up cheerfully and say "Good morning, Lord," or are we often in the mood where we say, "Good Lord, it’s morning"?
Whatever inconvenience, suffering, or affliction we endure here in serving the Lord is more than worth it. "This slight momentary affliction is preparing in us an eternal weight of glory."
This is a tremendous incentive for us to press on in using the gifts of service God has given us, even if we do get discouraged. Let your joy be full, let your time be committed to a service in your church for which you are gifted, and never give up—for there are things prepared for you in heaven that will be glorious.
DO NOT LOSE HEART
- Read the Scripture for this day over at least three times and jot down three things you feel can renew your life from God's Word.
- What does it take for you to "lose heart" or give up on your service to God?
- Ponder on the "glory beyond all comparison." You might just close your eyes.