2 Corinthians 4:16-18
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
The Bible clearly tells us not to lose heart. The exact definition of “lose heart” is to become discouraged. God doesn’t want us to lose hope, to be negative or be pessimistic. As Christians, we should be hopeful, positive, and optimistic. The exact definition of “optimistic” is to be hopeful and confident about the future.
Romans 5:13 reads, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Proverbs 31:25 reads, “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.”
Jeremiah 29:11 reads, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I don’t know about you but those scriptures definitely sound optimistic to me. We shouldn’t be discouraged by our hardships. We should be encouraged by our faith in God and the all-consuming hope and joy that He fills us with. We are called to keep a cheerful heart by the renewing of the Holy Spirit.
We should face those hardships knowing that God has our best interest in mind. This scripture in 2 Corinthians literally calls our “hardships” momentary troubles. Many Christians (including myself) let our hardships determine our attitude. We let them discourage us and steal our joy. We focus so much on the problems around us that we can’t even see the light at the end of the tunnel. We lose hope, and we become discouraged. We “lose heart” as this Scripture warns us not to. We have to remember that in the scheme of eternity, our problems diminish in importance. What we go through is only temporary. We need to stop focusing on what is seen, and start focusing on what is unseen.
When we focus our eyes on what is unseen, we are renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit. God will fill us with His all-consuming peace, hope, and joy if we let Him. If God is on your side, then who (or what) can be against you? No person or problem can hinder you when you are solely focused on Jesus. The eternal glory that is yet to come far outweighs the struggles and hardships we will face on this earth. We have to remember to focus our eyes on what is unseen, which is eternity, rather than what is seen which is temporary.
When we start focusing on the temporary things and problems of this world, we lose heart. We get discouraged and we forget that God’s got everything under control. We forget that He has a perfect and sovereign plan and that He wants nothing but good for us. Sometimes we get upset with God because of the problems that we face, forgetting that He works ALL things together for good.
Romans 8:28 reads, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
God is sovereignly in control of every detail in our lives. Every hardship and every struggle that we face will turn out for the good. Though outwardly we are wasting away (through our hardships), yet inwardly we are being renewed by the flame of resurrection burning within. Our troubles here on earth are light and momentary if they are seen from the perspective of eternity. The Christian’s difficulties diminish in comparison to eternity. The eternal glory that will come is far greater than the suffering one may face in this life. Focusing on what is seen would cause us to become discouraged and lose heart. We have to focus on what is unseen which is eternal. We have to choose to change our perspective, and choose to let God change our hearts. We have to choose to be optimistic and hopeful so that we can effectively shine God’s light to this broken world.
In a world filled with chaos and hopelessness, we are called to be the light. We are called to spread the love and hope of Christ daily. We should be so filled with the Holy Spirit that we can’t help but tell others about it. We can’t help but be kind. We can’t help but be hopeful. We can’t help but be encouraging, because that’s what God has called us to do.
Ephesians 4:29 reads, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11 reads, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
Proverbs 12:25 reads, “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.”
Pray with me.
-God, please forgive me for allowing my struggles to discourage me. Show me how to focus on You and You alone. Help me to focus on Your kingdom rather than my own. Please help me to be an optimist and to always keep an eternal perspective. Thank you for everything you have done for me, and thank you for working all things together for my good. You are perfect in every way and I pray I become more like you each and every day of my life. I love you, Lord. I ask all of these things in Your wonderful and Holy name. Amen.-