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. 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 4.16-18
Do you sometimes feel that it is simply not worth it? Some task that faces you; some challenge that requires effort and commitment; looking at your diary and realising what the day, let alone the week ahead involves; even, dare I suggest, living the Christian life.
As we read the book of Acts and the letters he wrote, we might easily wonder how Paul kept going when life was so demanding; the risk to his own life often very great and perhaps wondering if his experience of Christ was real after all.
Here, writing his second letter to the church in Corinth, he is unequivocal regarding himself and those who worked and ministered with him:
We do not lose heart.
Yes he was wasting away outwardly. The physical demands of ministry were such that they took a physical toll upon them yet listen to how he saw them in the context of eternity:
They were light and momentary troubles and the promised glory, was beyond anything else he could imagine.
Today, let such a response spur you on and strengthen you. For Paul was not Superman. He was a man just like you and me. He had a personal encounter with God, as has everyone who comes to Christ for the forgiveness of sin and who acknowledges him as Lord. He suffered as any follower of Jesus Christ might suffer – indeed Jesus said this would happen without specifying how that would be for each individual. Yet in all of this he knew that there was nothing to compare with faithfully following his God given ministry.
What kept him going?
Looking not at the immediate, possibly disheartening, situation he was in; not by fixing his eyes on the seen and temporary, but on the unseen and eternal which is thus totally trustworthy.
This should not be news for us. It should be deeply ingrained in us.
But is it?
A great and eternal glory awaits the good and faithful servant who will be welcomed into the joy of the Lord and such a sure and certain hope and future should cause the disheartening things we face to fade into the background. Therefore take heart as you focus on the multifaceted glory of God which now we see only in part, while waiting with eagerness for the day when we shall see it in its all its fulness.