Monday, May 30, 2011

May 30, 2011 … Endurance: Look to the Future

Passage of the Day [NIV]: 2nd Corinthians 4: 17 … 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 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.

Passage of the Day [NASB]: 2nd Corinthians 4: 17 … 16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

My Journal for Today: Today, we look on the same passage as we did yesterday; but with a focus on verse 17 [bold and underlined]; and for a seeker’s benefit, I have taken the liberty to add the NASB version to the NIV in today’s study.

We see here that Paul is asking Christians to focus clearly on our future hope in Christ, which, he reminds believers, far outweighs any present (or past) trials we might endure (“momentary, light affliction” in the NASB – but which may not seem so “momentary” and “light” to those enduring the pain). It is interesting that Paul, having experienced so many near-death trials [see his description in 2nd Cor. 11: 21 – 28], refers to any afflictions we experience as being “light.” I don’t know whether I would have had that kind of attitude; but he is right. Anything I’m going through now is “light” compared with the affliction our Lord, Jesus, went through on the cross to secure my eternal glory.

The Apostle James (see James 1: 2) even wrote that we Christians should consider it all joy to endure such trials which confront us in Christ’s Name. But back to Paul’s exhortation in today’s passage, the temporary pain we experience from ANY temporal or corporal challenge is simply inconsequential when weighed against “the eternal weight of glory.”

In his devotional for this date from Strength for Today, John MacArthur evokes the same word picture referred to by Paul’s writing in today’s passage … that of the old balance scale used to measure the weight of any element. We’re asked, as believers, to see our lives on one side of that scale with the weight of any momentary earthly trial, which is weighed on the other side of the scales against the infinite eternal weight of being with Christ in glory. NO CONTEST!!!

The weight of any passing temporal pain we might have to endure or cross we may have to carry (see Luke 9: 23) is ALWAYS far outweighed by the cross Christ had to endure so that we could praise, serve, and glorify Him for eternity.

My Prayer Today: For You, my Lord, I must bear any weight. Amen

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