Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
There is an ancient Jewish folktale which says King Solomon once searched for a cure against depression. He assembled his wise men together asking for assistance. They deliberated for a long time and gave him the following advice: Make yourself a ring and engrave the words ‘This too will pass’ on it. The King carried out the advice. He had the ring made and wore it constantly. Every time he felt sad and depressed, he looked at the ring, whereon his mood would change and he would feel cheerful. Whether it be an impending battle or a festal celebration, no matter the circumstance this helped to center him spiritually.
You will not find the phrase “This too shall pass” in the Scriptures, but you will find the concept. In 2 Corinthians the Apostle Paul promotes this idea of the temporary nature of the struggles of this life. The power of His endurance in the faith came from Christ, but it also came from knowing the consummation of the events of his life was soon upon him. So too, the consummation of your life and mine is upon us. This life is like a vapor, we are here one minute and gone. A million years from now the current circumstances which give rise to our fears, worries, and doubts will be drowned in the sea of the glory of God. All that will remain is the Lord Jesus, His Kingdom, and the people of God carrying out His holy eternal purposes. Our God is eternal, immutable, and all powerful. No matter what we face today there is always a tomorrow, so let’s keep the faith. As Paul says here do not lose heart.
Paul reminds us of some things that will pass away that ought to encourage us. First, he says our outer self will pass away. The outer self is the physical body, our humanity. But with our humanity comes our sinful nature. There is nothing more frustrating than our own flesh. We are in a constant battle with our own lusts and desires which pull us away from Christ, but Child of God I’ve got some awesome news. This fleshly body will pass away; it too shall pass! One day you and I won’t have to deal with sin any longer in these bodies. Thanks be to God through our Lord Jesus Christ who has set us free from our bondage to death! Through His shed blood and resurrection power we are not bound to our sins any longer!
Secondly, he says our afflictions will pass away. Sickness, the loss of a loved one, relationship problems, financial stress, marital strife, parenting struggles….all these things will pass away. Until they do, Paul says we must never forget that they are preparing us for glory. He calls it “momentary light affliction.” Just that phrase alone ought to encourage your socks off today! The sufferings of this life are momentary, and they are nothing in comparison to what Jesus went through for us by coming to earth and dying for our sins. Whatever you are going through today, it too shall pass! It may be hard in the moment but it will be forgotten in eternity, and it’s all under the blood! Just trust the Lord through it and rest in Him.
This life is fleeting at best. Instead of counting our days let’s make our days count for Jesus. Wealth, possessions, and fame will pass away. Man’s applause and the accolades of success will cease. The world and it’s pleasures are passing away, but He who does the will of God lasts forever. Be encouraged. The struggles of this life shall pass. What remains will be greater than anything you could ever imagine in Christ. Rest in that promise today.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, life can be so stressful. It seems so hard to live for You at times, but I know the hardships of life will pass. I thank You for salvation. I thank You for the free gift of eternal life. Help me rest in You. Help me trust in You. I know that you are preparing for me an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. Thank You Jesus! In Your name I pray, amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.