Grace and Peace!
Today’s uplift: Don’t Lose Heart!!
2 Corinthians 4:16-17 (NIV) ~ “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.”
As I sat in the evening silence trying to read God’s Word, I kept thinking “Why” Lord. Before I knew it, I was spiraling out of my happy mood: Why, Lord, would You allow that painful struggle? Why, Lord, will this difficult season not end? Why?
Do you ever find yourself tripping over past painful experiences? Maybe a traumatic experience like loss of a job, a betrayal that left you in a hot mess? Or maybe the “smaller” trials of life have combined into one big ball of hurt bouncing around in your heart and mind.
Whatever the reason, you might find yourself hung up on the age-old question of “Why?” It’s one of the earliest questions we learn to ask, and it remains on our lips as difficult circumstances happen in our lives. We may pray and read our Bibles, but that nagging question has a persistent way of keeping us stuck and hijacking our joy. Before long, enemy-fueled doubts begin assaulting our minds such as ~” I wonder if God has forgotten about me; maybe He’s abandoned me altogether. His good plans must be for someone else, not me or am I good enough?
When I got stuck on that question, God graciously stopped my negative spiral by reminding me of what some of our spiritual giants endured. Joseph, who spent years in servitude and prison after being sold into slavery by his brothers. King David, who had to flee the palace for his life and endure years on the run to escape the sword of King Saul. And then there’s Paul, the writer of today’s key verse. He suffered multiple beatings, imprisonments, shipwrecks and an intrusive “thorn in the flesh” that God never removed (2 Corinthians 12:7). Yet unlike my why, Paul wrote these extraordinary words:
“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” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17).
Paul’s perspective amazes me, for his trials were anything but light and momentary! And yet he held fast to God’s bigger vision for his life. How could a man with plenty of “Why?” moments exhibit this kind of faith? The next verse reveals Paul’s secret to steadfast trust: “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 4:18).
Paul grasped the critical truth that, on this earth, we see only part of the story, and through our numerous troubles, God works to accomplish His unseen, eternal purposes. Paul understood that God would weave the “Why?” moments into something beautiful and far more valuable than the temporary, earthly comfort we often crave. We watch Joseph ascend to power in Egypt and David take his anointed place as King of Israel. We see Paul’s perseverance result in many of our treasured books of the New Testament.
And those confusing, painful “Why?” moments they endured? Each moment played a crucial role! For without descending into a dungeon, Joseph could never have ascended to power. Without the chaos of persecution, David could never have worn the crown. And without his tribulations, Paul could never have spread the gospel throughout the new world.
Your heavenly Father wants to use your “Why?” moments in the same way. He hasn’t forgotten or abandoned you or decided you’re not worthy of good things. He loves you deeply and even now works to redeem your most agonizing moments.
Overcomer, we can walk in hope, knowing that God’s strength renews us each day. And in His strength, we get to decide that our “Why?” moments will no longer keep us stuck or steal our joy. In faith, we can place our pain into His capable hands – for we serve a God who turns our misery into a masterpiece.
Father, thank You for the unseen, eternal work You’re doing in our lives. Help us to trust You with our heartache, knowing that it’s only part of the story. Grant us the strength to persevere today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Be Optimistic; Be Open Minded; Be an Over comer!!
Love Min. P.