Paul’s letters were written as an integrated whole, yet progress from one train of thought to the next. Paul’s writings were written to correct any error, preach a clear gospel message, provide encouragement, and address issues of concern. Paul’s passion was to reinforce the good news of the gospel with clarity and remind us that as part of God’s new creation, we are aliens in a foreign land – living in deteriorating earthen vessels with a heavenly hope (2 Cor 4:7-10).
As part of the Body of Christ, we are indwelled by the Spirit of God with an eternal inheritance – kept for us in heaven, “knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God” (2 Cor 4:14-15).
Having set the scene of our present privileged position and glorious future destiny in the first three chapters, Paul opens a section which calls Christians to stand fast in the evil day, to press on despite the difficulties we face, and to live by faith and not by sight.
“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 Cor 4:16-18)
Even a Christ followers, we need to be encouraged. One of the things that encourages me most is the reminder that this life and anything that happens in it is but a vapor. There will be many who delight in publicly (or privately) coming against us, but we aren’t to lose hope. So let us seek the company of other believers to encourage them and to be encouraged.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Heb 10:23-25)
Stay encouraged, stay engaged with fellow believers and keep your eyes on things that are eternal, because this world is not our home. “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Rom 15:13)
Heavenly Father, what a wonderful hope we have in Christ that, day by day, we are being renewed in our inner man, even though we can see our outward body is growing older and deteriorating. Thank You for my present privileged position in Christ and for the glorious future destiny I have in heaven. I pray that I will not lose heart as I see my outer man decaying, but will stand strong in the faith and press on for the upward call of God in Christ Jesus, as I watch for His any day return when this mortal will put on immortality and this perishable body will be clothed in an imperishable one, for Your greater praise and glory. How I thank and praise You, in Jesus’ name, amen.