Thursday, October 5, 2017

Don't Lose Heart

2 Corinthians 4:16-18  "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So 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."

        What is it that keeps you going in the day to day struggles of life?  As a believer, I hope your strength is acknowledged by you, as from God alone.  We all deal with trials of our own and of others, but do we cling to God and His promises or abandon His Word for our own ideas?  The verses above aren't limited to physical illness, but include all things that bring us down into despair.  Our trials differ and yet our own struggles can be our source to encourage others.  
       2 Corinthians 4:13-15 "Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God."
       Strength comes from the hope we believe in through Christ's resurrection.  We are not suffering in vain, but for God's glory to be revealed.  Romans 8:18  "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."  1 Corinthians 15:52-54  " For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.  When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”  1 Corinthians 15:58  "Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."  "The hope of the resurrection will encourage us in a suffering day, and set us above the fear of death; for what reason has a good Christian to fear death, that dies in hope of a joyful resurrection?" [M.Henry]
      Do you believe suffering can be a blessing?  "It is our happiness if the decays of the outward man do contribute to the renewing of the inward man, if afflictions outwardly are gain to us inwardly, if when the body is sick, and weak, and perishing, the soul is vigorous and prosperous." [M.Henry]  Our personal relationship with God and His Word can encourage us and renew our spirits daily.  Satan wants us to focus on our temporary pain and not the eternal work that God is doing thru our sufferings.  Our sanctification is not a smooth journey, but a testing of our faith as we become who God intended us to be.
      As for myself, I try to enjoy life with heaven in mind.  I know that the things that hinder me now will not last forever, so I try to make the best of this life He gave me.  Hinderences are not just physical, but spiritual chains of sin as well.   My day to day struggles have become more evident, but the faith in my soul has prospered even more so.

Heaven’s promises will far outweigh our earthly struggles.