Monday, June 4, 2018
God Designed Me for More Than This Earth
In review of 2 Corinthians 4:18 it says, “We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (NIV).
Today’s verse is at the end of 2 Corinthians 4:8-18. In it Paul reminds me that I may be pressed on every side by troubles, but I will never be completely crushed. I may be perplexed, but not driven to despair. I may be hunted down, but never abandoned by God. I may get knocked down, but I will never destroyed. Through suffering, my body continues to share in the the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in me. I believe in God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise me with Jesus and present me to himself. My example in this life is for others benefit. And as God's grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.
That is why I should never give up. Though my body is dying, my spirit is being renewed every day. For my present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for me a glory that will vastly outweigh them and will last forever. So I don't look at the troubles I can see now; rather, I fix my gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things I see now will soon be gone, but the things I cannot see will last forever.
Paul reminds me that I am never at the end of my rope or my hope. My body is subject to sin and suffering, but God will never abandon me. Because Christ has won the victory over death, I can have eternal life. All my risks, humiliations, and trails are opportunities for Chris to demonstrate his power and presence in and through me. When opposition, slander, or disappointment threaten to rob me of the victory, remember that no one can destroy what God has accomplished through me. As I face great troubles, it's easy to focus on the pain rather than on my ultimate goal. I must focus on the reward for my faith and the joy that lasts forever. No matter what happens to me in this life, I have the assurance of eternal life, when all suffering will end and all sorrow will flee away.
It can be easy to lose heart and quit. Rather than quitting when persecution wore him down, Paul concentrated on experiencing the inner strength that came from the Holy Spirit. I shouldn't let fatigue, pain, or criticism force me off the job. Renew my commitment to serving Christ. Don't forsake my eternal reward because of the intensity of today's pain. My very weakness allows the resurrection power of Christ to Strengthen me moment by moment.
My trouble should not diminish my faith or disillusion me. I should realize that there is a purpose in my suffering. Problems and human limitations have several benefits: (1) They remind me of Christ's suffering for me; (2) they keep me from pride; (3) they cause me to look beyond this brief life; (4) they give me opportunities to prove my faith to others; and (5) they give God the opportunity to demonstrate his power. See my troubles as opportunities!
My ultimate hope when I face troubles is the realization that this life is not all there is, there is life after death! Knowing that I will live forever with God in a place without sin and suffering can help me live above the pain that I face in this life.
God created me to live in heaven with him for eternity. Heaven is my home, not Earth. That’s why we sometimes experience discontentment and dissatisfaction in life. We’re not completely happy here because we’re not supposed to be! Otherwise, we might think we can live without God. He created us to long for something much better — a home is heaven with him. A fish would never be happy living on land, because it was made for water. An eagle could never feel satisfied if it wasn’t allowed to fly. I will never feel completely satisfied on Earth, because I was made for more. I will have happy moments here, but nothing compared with what God has planned for me. This is also why some of God’s promises seem unfulfilled, some prayers seem unanswered, and some circumstances seem unfair. But this is not the end of the story. Realizing that life on Earth is just temporary should radically alter my values. Eternal values, not temporal ones, should be the deciding factor for your decisions. As C. S. Lewis observed, “All that is not eternal is eternally useless.” The Bible tells us to “fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV).
Fix you gaze not on what is in front of you, but focus on what is not seen, the eternal that God provides.
What this means to me:
I am to fix my eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what see and feel today is temporary, but what is unseen is what will be eternal.
In summary, Troubles will come and I may feel like giving up. But no matter what happens, I will never be abandoned by God. How I respond to and work through this is an example for others. For my present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they will produce for me a glory that will vastly outweigh what I'm going through and ad will last forever. The key for me is to not fix my gaze on the things that I can see, but rather the things that I can't see, the ones that will last forever. So while it can be easy to lose heart and want to quite, I shouldn't let fatigue, pain, or criticism force me off of the job. I am to just renew my commitment to serving Christ. Give God an opportunity to demonstrate his power. See my troubles as opportunities!
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