11 July 2015
Reading: 2 Corinthians 4; Psalm 10
17 For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18 NLT)
It takes an amazing degree of maturity mixed with child-like faith to have the perspective our friend and mentor Paul has! My troubles never seem very small, and they most always seem like they’re going to last forever! And it always seems like they’re going to produce disaster, failure, and defeat, rather than “…an immeasurably great glory that will last forever!” There are some lessons here that are as basic as 1+1=2 and some deep lessons that will take our entire lifetime to fully process and apply.
First, like Paul, we must choose our perspective:
• Our present troubles (or joys or successes or frustrations or failures or questions) are small and temporary. In light of what really matters (Have you decided what really matters? That’s a choice as well, you know!) they’re small, and in light of eternity, they won’t last very long!
• Our present troubles will produce good fruit! They will produce character, determination, patience, and in growing and changing us, they will prepare us for that eternity filled with “immeasurably great glory!”
Second, like Paul, we get to choose our focus:
• We don’t get caught up in the troubles (or frustrations, or challenges, or successes, or failures and losses) we can see right now. We don’t deny them, we simply don’t let them be our focal point of life.
• We focus forward. We focus on the good that is accomplished by the processes we’re experiencing. We focus on the reward for faithfulness and endurance. We focus on an eternity filled with the Joy of Jesus Christ!
Father, Thanks for this encouragement from my older brother Paul. I want to think like this and live like this and die like this! I’m not asking for pain and trials, but for grace to make the most of the troubles that do come my way. Help me focus forward and live with eternity in view. For Jesus’ sake! Amen.