"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. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." II Corinthians 4:16-18
Hope is an incredibly powerful force! You know that! But maybe you don't always know where to look for hope.
Scientists have proven the significance of hope. They have documented that people can live longer without food or water than they can without hope. Perhaps that is true because the spirit is more important that the body!
Paul wrote to these Corinthian Christians to offer some hope to these struggling believers. I want to share that hope with you today just in case you are in short supply.
Where can you look for hope?
Hope In God's Power!
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day," V. 16
Aging can take a toll on you. It can stir up doubts and anxieties as you see strength and vitality ebb. Illness can do the same. So can suffering.
You are an eternal soul contained within a temporary body. Getting out of bed each morning is a reminder of the that! Aching joints and muscles can be reminders of that! A glance in the mirror can be a reminder of that! The graying hair and the sagging skin remind you that your body is wearing away.
Where is the hope in that?
Paul answers that by reminding you that when the reality of aging causes you to despair, remember a great reality - the power of God that is at work in you! His spiritual power at work within in you is greater than the force of aging, the force of illness, the force of life's pressure, or any other hope-draining challenge you may face!
Are you a believer? Do you know Him as your Savior? Then His power is at work in you! Hope in His power!
Hope In His Promise!
"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." V. 17
Suffering, pain and misery can rob you of your hope! As the long hours meld into long days, your optimism can melt like wax. Maybe that is where you find yourself today.
How can I hold onto hope when life hurts all the time?
In addition to God's power at work in you - which is no small thing! You also have the promises of God - all of them - hundreds of them - that assure you that your celebration will far outlast your suffering!
Find your comfort in His power today and take your hope from His promises for tomorrow!
Hope In His Perspective!
"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." V. 18
You know that a glass of water can be seen as half-full or half- empty. Both are true but can result in a different set of emotions and a different set of decisions.
Reality is like that glass of water, it is part awareness and part attitude.
The awareness keeps you in touch with what is happening around you but your attitude determines how you will respond to it. Will you lose hope or will you choose hope! Paul encourages you to be aware of the reality you face but at the same time, be aware of a greater and eternal reality that awaits you! Your attitude toward your present reality and the actions you take will impact your eternal reality.
Hope comes not from avoiding reality but hope comes from believing in a greater reality - a more powerful and eternal reality! You live today because you are hoping for tomorrow - and the tomorrow after that!
There is hope that awaits you today! The hope of His power! The hope of His promise! The hope of His perspective!