Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 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. – 2 Corinthians 4v16-18
I remember many years ago hearing a preacher give some very practical Bible study advice – “Whenever you see the word ‘therefore’ you need to see that it is there for.” Here it is obvious. In the lengthy section of this letter preceding Paul has talked about the struggles he is going through and then looked at all that counterbalances to those struggles. He then laid it on the line – “Therefore in the light of all that, we are not going to lose heart.”
Why not just quit Paul? “Because our inward man is being renewed every day.” Trials are doing a work on the inner man, the real me. There are making me the man I need to be. “Our light troubles are only fleeting, and they don’t even compare to the glories that await us at the end..
How do you do that Paul? “I chose not to focus on the temporary, visible stuff. It is only going to be here a little while. One day it is going to be gone.”
What do you look at Paul? “I have learned to focus on the things I can’t even see yet, for they are the only things that are going to last for eternity.
It really is not easy to explain, but enduring through trials requires action on our part. We need to choose to change our focus. When we get bogged down in all the “stuff” that is going on we need to stop and readjust our focus and choose to focus on the blessings and promises in His word.
The question is, are we willing to exercise the faith required to look on the invisible?