The Power of the Unseen
In 2 Corinthians 4 we have a very interesting paragraph which, in my opinion, is intended to motivate and encourage us. If someone is in the desert and is very thirsty, they can “see” a mirage, what looks like an oasis of water and shade. They run quickly, powered by adrenaline to this supposed oasis but when they arrive they find nothing but sand. They have been tricked by their minds. But what they didn’t really see but thought they saw was a powerful motivator for them. In a related way, the Bible often presents the “unseen” as a powerful motivation for the follower of Jesus here on earth. What is unseen is not a mirage…it’s real. It’s just that it cannot be seen yet. Here is what Paul writes near the end of the chapter: 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
In your life the follower of Jesus is to focus most of his/her energy on the things that are not seen. Here Paul writes that his “light affliction”, which for him consisted of consistent beatings, rejection and imprisonment, were working in him a much more important “weight” of glory. Paul is comparing his present condition to a light weight he is carrying compared to the heavy weight of glory he will receive. Again, Paul didn’t suffer “light affliction” in his earthly life. He suffered great affliction. But, compared to the weight of glory which will be revealed in eternity, the weight he was carrying now was like a feather. It is so easy to focus on the here and now; to complain about circumstances and things that are not going our way; but the here and now will quickly give way to the “there and then”. The temporary sin stained things of this life are in fact temporary for the Christian, and though we cannot see it, a far greater glory awaits in heaven. Allow the Holy Spirit to renew you each day, allowing you to “see” what awaits and may the sure hope of glory motivate and encourage you to endure the afflictions of today.