2 Corinthians 4:16-5:5
16 We don’t give up. Our bodies are becoming weaker and weaker. But our spirits are being renewed day by day. 17 Our troubles are small. They last only for a short time. But they are earning for us a glory that will last forever. It is greater than all our troubles. 18 So we don’t spend all our time looking at what we can see. Instead, we look at what we can’t see. That’s because what can be seen lasts only a short time. But what can’t be seen will last forever. 5 We know that the earthly tent we live in will be destroyed. But we have a building made by God. It is a house in heaven that lasts forever. Human hands did not build it. 2 During our time on earth we groan. We long to put on our house in heaven as if it were clothing. 3 Then we will not be naked. 4 While we live in this tent of ours, we groan under our heavy load. We don’t want to be naked. Instead, we want to be fully dressed with our house in heaven. What must die will be swallowed up by life. 5 God has formed us for that very purpose. He has given us the Holy Spirit as a down payment. The Spirit makes us sure of what is still to come.
Our earthly bodies grow older and frailer by the day. That’s just a fact – we can see it. What believers don’t see is that their inner man is being renewed each day. By God’s grace there is new life on the inside of the believer and it is getting livelier by the day, just the opposite to our physical bodies. This passage acknowledges that there will be troubles and suffering but as believers we are not to let these things overwhelm us. Paul encourages us to get some eternal perspective and not to focus on temporary things. We are also told that we will receive new bodies in heaven.
This Scripture is a strong reminder of the growing life within us as Christians and more importantly our ultimate destination, heaven for all eternity. It’s very easy to get caught up with the day to day issues of here and now. Our five senses seem to download the temporary stuff 24/7 causing us to forget the unseen or eternal things to which we are destined. Paul has given us an important reminder as to what Christians are called to focus upon. There is a lot of talk at the moment in Australia regarding “temporary visas ” ie. basically who is entitled to such a visa. As Christians we have been granted temporary planet earth visas. We are just passing through! We are not aiming for permanent residency down here so don’t get too familiar with all the goings on, it’s unnecessary and throws us off course. Once you meet Jesus your destination is heaven, lets remind ourselves and one another of this often. Think I need to read this passage frequently!
Dear God, thank you, that as we trust in you we are being renewed each day. Please help me not to get caught up in temporary things, show me what is eternal so I can focus on those things. Amen
Written by Ainslie Woods