2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (MSG) “So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.”
How many times in your life have you felt like throwing in the towel? Perhaps it is a situation in your relationship that is really getting out of hand and you just can’t seem to manage it any longer. Or, is it the stress level at work? What about something with your finances, are you cutting the “fat” in your budget and you still can’t make ends meet? It’s like every fiber in your being wants to throw your hands up in the air and scream at the top of your lungs “I can’t take this anymore, I give up!” If this is where you are…believe me, I completely understand and know exactly how you feel. I have been in each of these places a time or two…and it’s really not fun at all.
But, as tough as situations may seem at times and, as tough as what I am about to write may be hard to read, I feel I must share it with you. Life is temporary. I will say it again just in case you missed that… LIFE IS TEMPORARY. We are only here on this earth for a little while. These three words might be a little tough to swallow because right now, at this moment, it may see whatever it is you’re walking through is taking an eternity to overcome. I promise… it’s not.
There is all of eternity to gain if we look at this world through a temporal view. If you read through Paul journey in the book of Acts (beginning in chapter 9) and the epistles he wrote, you will see that he suffered great trials and distress as he preached the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout his known world. Paul didn’t let the trials or circumstances of his situation to stop or deter him at all. Why? Because Paul understood the truth…his rest and reward were in heaven.
I admire Paul’s strength and perseverance! All too often when we face problems of any sort it’s easy to focus on the problem (or the pain it’s causing) instead of looking at what’s on the other side. Paul knew he needed to draw his strength from the power of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:16) to push through times of trials, pain, and suffering.
We never know what God will bring out of our deepest suffering or greatest trial. But I do know what His word promises in Romans 8:28 (NCV)
“We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him. They are the people he called, because that was his plan.”
Did you catch the word EVERYTHING? This means God will use every experience, every heartache, every trial, every mountaintop…EVERYTHING…for our good.
Related reading: Romans 5:3-4