by Verena Johnson
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‘Therefore we do not lose heart … For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all’ (2 Corinthians 4:16a,17).
As you read through the text above, I wonder how you reacted to the phrase ‘light and momentary’. Did you think to yourself, ‘What does Paul know about my troubles? They are anything but light and momentary! This is one of the heaviest things I’ve gone through, and there’s no end in sight!’
Perhaps you can relate to feeling like you’re ‘wasting away’ because of the troubles you’re going through. Maybe you’re feeling disheartened and discouraged. Or maybe, you’re simply tired and worn out. This year has been a long and difficult one for many of us.
Paul didn’t write these words ‘lightly’; he knew all about troubles and had been through a lot. If you doubt this, check out the list a bit further on in this same letter (2 Corinthians 11:23–29). Despite everything Paul had been through, he could still say ‘do not lose heart’ because he believed without a doubt that even the most agonising trials of this life are minor when compared to the amazing eternal glory that awaits us.
I witnessed this when my mum was dying of cancer. Outwardly she was indeed wasting away, but she didn’t lose heart. Through it all, she kept her eyes firmly fixed on the unseen and the glory that awaited her. She comforted me, not the other way around! This was evident even the way she first told us, ‘I have good news and bad news. The bad news is I have terminal cancer. The good news is I get to be with Jesus in heaven much sooner than I expected’.
Like Paul and my mum, look to the unseen world for encouragement. During the very hard days, fix your eyes beyond what is seen and transient, and get a glorious glimpse of eternity.
Dear God, thank you that you are always with me in the midst of my troubles. Thank you for the amazing eternal glory that awaits me. Please help me to fix my eyes on what is unseen even as I struggle with what I see and feel. Amen.