“Therefore we do not lose heart…
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.”
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)
Eyesight is such a precious commodity and gives us great pleasure as we look at the marvellous scenery in creation. Whether it is a beautiful sunset, rocky mountains, a new born baby or other wonder of the world around us, eyes are the gateway to glorious visions of reality.
Then our eyes may, at times, look upon scenes of suffering and sorrow that defy description. We try to gaze on the beautiful and often work to ignore the tragedies of life all around us.
The context of today’s verses is where Paul is writing about significant struggles in life. He urges his readers to not stare at the problems but instead to see the invisible. The things not seen are the things that last forever while the painful scenes of this life will soon fade from view and from memory.
When we come to understand that the things visible in this life will soon be removed from our horizon we shall find our fear of them taken away. Paul makes the bold statement,
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us
an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
We only get the correct perspective on the trials of this life when we put them alongside the glorious invisible things of the future. The that shall be unveiled at the Lord’s return. This is why “we do not lose heart”.
Our troubles are not worthy of comparison with the glory that is going to be revealed in us—as God’s people—in that great and amazing day (Romans 8:18). Paul, who suffered greatly in every way, thinks that all his pain and sorrow will be cast off like so much dust as he walks the streets of gold.
Seek to get a glimpse of the invisible today and your burdens will be lightened and your sorrows shrink. One day into glory and we will wonder why we worried so much about this life’s suffering. Will we be embarrassed on the other side of eternity about the fuss we made here about our sorrows? May God in His grace grant to each of us a glimpse of the eternal so that we will be enabled to endure because we see the One Who is invisible (Hebrews 11:27).