Lately, I’ve been candid in my teachings and sermons that the last year or more has been the most challenging season of my adult life. I cannot remember a time where I’ve been more deeply affected than the years 2021 and 2022. While I would never characterize myself as depressed, not even mildly, I have had many moments of moodiness, irritation, anger, indifference, and a handful of moments where I somewhat seriously considered finding something else to do with my life.
Thankfully, the LORD has moved in my heart, and I’m in a different place spiritually and emotionally. I don’t sense that my hard times are done at all, but I sense His Spirit with me more than ever, and that gives me courage. He gives me hope for the troubles I see around me. I’m reminded of what Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth.
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 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. – 2 Corinthians 4;17-18
Where do you fix your eyes? To what or whom are you looking? Did you know that your momentary afflictions are working for you and not against you? Troubles won’t last always! There is an end to affliction once it has accomplished its work. The way we see beyond the pain of the troubles is to keep our eyes fixed on the things that are unseen. The unseen is eternal, and Christ is there calling us upward to Himself.
I know that this may sound idealistic. I’m enough of a cynic to detect idealism when it’s birthed in my mind. But, the cynic in me must die. The cynic in you must die as well. We’ve done an excellent job at exalting cynicism as a virtue because it proclaims to cut through the fluff to the real issues. There’s no doubt that people who can discern the spirits are often also a bit cynical. But cynicism is often discernment gone sour. Crucify the cynic. Embrace the idealism that Paul puts forth here.
Set your eyes on the unseen things that are eternal, and these troubles will seem like momentary afflictions and will work to prepare an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. What is that?
I don’t know.
But I’m sure that Jesus will keep filling me with the Holy Spirit so I can endure whatever light momentary affliction comes my way. He’ll do it for you too.