2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (Berean Study Bible)
16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
One of the biggest differences between childhood and adulthood is the disenchantment that comes with getting older. Rather than seeing each new day as an adventure or a chance to explore something new, our time becomes slow, predictable, and almost boring. We can easily predict what will come next: work, school, grocery shopping, bedtime routines, and finally sleep. There’s little remaining in our adult lives that cause us to wonder like we did as children.
Disenchantment is traditionally considered a normal part of growing up, although its effects in our lives are anything but normal. In fact, enough disillusionment with wonder or loss of hope for things eternal can lead to a singular sense of emptiness in our daily lives. In the Bible, this is known as losing heart.
Daily boredom, difficult situations, and trying circumstances make us believe that nothing is truly lasting in our earthly lives. In truth, few things really are. Matthew 6:19-20 reminds us: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Instead of putting our stock into the things of this world, we should instead fill our hearts with the things of Heaven.
Our outer bodies are slowly aging, breaking down, and becoming weaker. Our homes and possessions are becoming more and more unusable, and brittle with age. Our human afflictions and diseases weigh on us like a ton of bricks. All of these things provide disenchantment and even disillusionment with the world. But these things are instead preparing us for life in a world that does not rot or waste away. We should not lose heart in our daily afflictions because these things are preparing us for the total and eternal weight of glory!
How do we look beyond our boring, repeatable, transient lives and look towards an eternal life? It begins with not losing heart. Store up good teachings in your mind and soul, and refuse to allow earthly afflictions to dissuade you from following a godly path. Refuse to allow yourself to live in fear, or to pursue things that only bring momentary happiness.
Our inner selves are being made new every day, and are drawing closer to God with each passing moment. Temporary aches and pains may seem to fill our days, and repetitive things in our lives almost completely deaden our senses to things eternal. But there is so much more to life than the transient. In fact, our true reward lies in the things unseen.
Friends, let us not lose heart today!
How can you work to renew your inner self today? What light or momentary afflictions could be distracting you from your grand, eternal task? Remember that we are to look towards Heaven all the days of our lives, and engross ourselves with the promises of God’s love and mercy. What we have today will rot, rust, and break away, but the unseen gifts of the Lord are eternal. Let us not lose heart!
Isaiah 40:31 (New English Standard Version)
30 But those who wait upon the LORD will renew their strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.
Psalm 73:26 (New King James Version)
26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.