So then death worketh in us, but life in you. We having the same spirit of faith… Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you…. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 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. — 2 Corinthians 4:12-18
The Christian life is all about perspective. In everything Jesus did, He pointed his disciples to look at life not from an Earthly perspective, but from a Heavenly one. When Jesus imparted supernatural power to His disciples to cast out demons, they returned amazed at their newly-discovered abilities. To this Jesus replied: “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20).
This meant not being caught up in day-to-day material struggles, challenges and pleasures. But seeing life from the eternal perspective, where rewards, blessing and the good life are guaranteed. First and foremost, Christianity is about the soul being saved from damnation. But there is much more than that. There is the “eternal weight of glory.” There are eternal riches, joy and happiness, as Christians will live in the presence of God forever. There will be true “peace on Earth”, a true end to suffering, a true end to pain, sickness, disease, death and hatred. If you believe in God, believe His Word – there are great rewards awaiting all those who love Him.
This does not mean that we will not have hard times in the present life or that we should just ignore them. That is not what the Scripture is suggesting. Rather, we just need to put them in the proper perspective. Everything in this present age is “temporal.” It’s not going to last. Even the Earthly bodies we all possess will “perish.” But Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit renews the “inward man day by day.” As we grow in Christ through prayer, Bible Study and striving to live like Jesus, our Spirit, which will never die, becomes that much more alive. When the prophet Job had lost his children, wealth and home, rather than cursing God he said:
“…Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. – Job 1:21-22.
So beloved, when you face struggles or hardships, remember that it is just “light affliction.” Do not let problems of today lead you into a sinful response or anger with God. It can be anger over a struggling relationship with your child. It could be problems with marriage. The pressure to pay all your bills to support a home. Maybe there are people in your school who torment you. The struggle to find employment or maybe guilt over the wrongs you know you have done to others (that they may not even know about). How do you respond to these events? Do you continue to trust in God? Do you worship even more during the hardest times?
The Adversary would want nothing more than for a frustration about a particular incident or problem to lead you into doubting God, lashing out at a loved one or entering into some self-destructive behavior like violence, a drinking binge, drug use or sexual sin. The instinct of the flesh is to resolve Earthly problems with Earthly solutions to help us “forget the pain.” God’s Word says not to forget the pain, but acknowledge it for what it is — a temporary problem that will never exist in eternity. Why? Because God, who never lies, has promised us that in this life we will never be tempted with more than we are able to handle and that we will have “unsearchable riches” – meaning rewards we cannot even comprehend in the next life. And we must put our faith in His Word. Once you are living in eternal bliss, fully forgiven for all your sins because of the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, then those pains, hurts and frustrations will truly be forgotten. It is this perspective, knowing that Jesus is with you through all challenges and keeping you for eternal glory, that will help you overcome.
Trust in what your eyes do not see. Put on the eternal perspective and know that you can take on the challenges of this world and keep on praising God just the same.