Friday, October 24, 2008

Shifting Our Focus

With my nose still in 2 Corinthians 4, I read a verse I haven't studied in quite a long time:

"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (v. 17).

Perhaps no one understands this more than the persecuted church, our brothers and sisters in chains and those under immense religious threats around the world. In many countries, such as Ethiopia, Columbia, India, Indonesia, and the Phillipines, not to mention China, Egypt, Sudan, Saudia Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Laos, the Christians are being harrassed, imprisoned, killed, and deprived of their possessions and/or liberties because of their Christian witness.

Yet, they are faithful to their call. They understand that Christ suffered, so why should we expect any less.


So then why do we expect less?


The Christian culture in America seems to expect the Christian life to be a bed of roses. Preachers even promise from the pulpit that following Christ will bring you "YOUR BEST LIFE NOW." (I'm still trying to find that in the Word of God. I'm sure the apostle Paul was getting around to writing about that one. . . . .He was just too busy suffering for Christ in prison, in storms, through shipwrecks, during stonings, etc.. . . . . . . .)

Dare I say, we should be thankful for any afflictions that may come our way? The Scripture says it is "but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."

How can we do this? How can we be thankful and "count it all joy when you fall into various trials. . . ." (James 1:2)?

Perhaps we can catch a glimpse of the answer in the last verse of 2 Corinthians 4:

"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" (v. 18).

We keep our eyes on Jesus. We keep our eyes on the hope of eternal life. We keep our eyes on the eternal glorious rewards in heaven. Any trials we endure here on earth are so temporary compared to the eternal glory awaiting.

No wonder Paul was able to endure and remain faithful. No wonder he shared in Philippians 4:11:

"Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content."

Paul had shifted his focus from what is seen to that which is not seen.

Have you?

In the Heart of our Home,

1 comment:

Jeanette said...

I love all these posts!! All I can ever think to say is AMEN!! in response though:-).

I absolutely love the pictures. The ones of biggest brother are so cute - they rightly express him!! If that makes sense!! :)

Thank you so much for blogging!! This blog is an inspiration to me!

Love in Christ