‘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. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.’ (2 Cor 4:16-18)
Paul and his fellow workers had suffered for Christ. They were persecuted and perplexed. Paul prayed constantly for the churches he had established as often he had been forced to leave them because of the opposition from the Jews and city authorities. However he was not in despair. He did not feel abandoned. He never considered giving up his preaching of Jesus Christ as Lord.
What did Paul remember as he faced opposition and trouble? Why did he not become discouraged? Paul knew that even though his physycal body was deteriorating(not only because of age but also because of the physical suffering he had endured), inwardly he was being renewed. He was drawing closer to the Lord, he was becoming more holy and he was depending on Christ’s power. The troubles were light and momentary compared to the eternal glory achieved. The troubles were ‘featherweight’ compared to the ‘heavyweight’ of eternal glory.
Do we have an eternal perspective about troubles? Whatever we are facing, whatever our world looks like, we need to remember that our lives now are very short compared to eternity. Our troubles now also change our character. We develop perseverance and become mature and complete. We learn to depend on our Heavenly Father instead of on our resources. We begin to remember we are citizens of the kingdom of heaven rather than focusing on here and now. And we fix our eyes on Jesus who went before us.