Summary: We do not lose heart because (1) we are inwardly being renewed, even though physically wasting away. (2) we have an eternal glory that far outweighs our momentary troubles, and (3) we can fix our eyes on what we cannot see - the eternal destiny God has p
We like to buy things that can last for a long time.
• When buy plastic cups because they are unbreakable. We buy Energizer batteries because they last longer. We buy shoes that are long-lasting.
• How we wish life is just like that – that we will be able to stay physically strong and healthy for a long, long time to come. Wouldn’t that be great?
But we know this is not true. Eventually everyone will struggle with health problems.
• This is not something we like to think about, but the Bible tells us not to lose heart. Why? Because God has a greater plan for us.
• We have a great future in Christ, which is more important than what we are seeing and experiencing today.
Paul uses many contrasting words to describe this great future to us.
• He talks about our present suffering and the future glory, one that is outward, the other inward; one that is light, the other weighty; one that is momentary, the other eternal, one that is seen, the other unseen.
• The Bible tells us to look for something God has prepared for us, which we cannot see and experience at this present moment.
WE DO NOT LOSE HEART BECAUSE…
(1) We Are Inwardly Being Renewed, Although Physically Wasting Away (v.16)
“Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”
Focus on that which is inward, that is, our new life in Christ.
• Our lives have been changed. We are blessed to be saved and now experiencing the life that God has given us.
• We are able to experience the love, the joy, the peace, the hope that God has given us. This life is growing strong, not weaker.
Paul says earlier in verse 7 that we are like “jars of clay”, very frail and weak.
• But within this jars of clay, we have a treasure. In verse 10, Paul says this is the “life of Jesus”. We have this new life of Christ in us.
• God has given us this new life in Christ. The physical one is growing weaker but the spiritual one is growing stronger. It is being ‘renewed day by day’.
By the power and grace of God, we are experiencing a new life each day.
• We grow to be more like Christ. We know more of God and His ways. We are able to live a holy and righteous life. We grow stronger in faith, in love and in hope.
• No weaker, but stronger. In the words of Isaiah, “those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isa 40:31)
The song we sing often 除你以外from Psalm 73:26 says, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
• That is why we treasure the blessings of elderly Christians. We ask them to pray for us. They know the Lord for many years; they have vast experiences, having trusted and served Him for a long time. We treasure their words of spiritual wisdom.
• Physically they looked frail but spiritually they are strong. Their spiritual life has been “renewed day by day” by the Lord.
WE DO NOT LOSE HEART BECAUSE…
(2) We Have an Eternal Glory that Surpasses our Momentary Troubles (v.17)
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
Focus on the future glory that awaits us, because that is more important.
• It is eternal, compared to our present afflictions, which is short.
• When we are going through pain and suffering, it sometimes feels like it lasts ‘forever’. We find it hard to endure even another day.
Paul says, look to the future because that is eternal.
• Notice the contrasts Paul uses here. What is light is being compared with what is weighty. What is momentary is being compared with what is eternal.
• These are the realities we face today. On this side of heaven, we are going to experience hardship and afflictions. But this is only a part of life, a very small part.
• God has prepared for us eternal life. He has prepared a heaven for us. That glory far outweighs what we are experiencing today – you cannot compare.
Paul takes what we can see with our eyes now and contrasts it with what he wants us to see with the eyes of faith.
• All the suffering here will seem ‘light and momentary’ when we fully comprehend the greatness of the glory God has for us.
• The contrast is so great that there is no comparison. The eternal glory is so great it cannot be outweighed or overshadowed by the visible afflictions we go through now.