“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 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” (2 Corinthians 4: 16-18).
This New Testament verse handles both suffering and renewal, and the fleeting and the eternal, says faith leaders.
How do we apply this verse to our earthly lives and struggles today?
“Anyone who has run a marathon knows the pain and suffering of the race,” Dave Miller, pastor of First Baptist Church in Tekamah, Nebraska, told Fox News Digital by email.
“After 22 miles of my first marathon, there was hardly a part of my body that wasn’t sore, cramping, fatigued or crying out in pain,” he continued.
Calling the next four miles of his first marathon “brutal,” Miller said he “slogged through to the finish.”
He added, “I pushed a little harder in my final steps until I collapsed across the line in utter exhaustion.”
He continued, “It is hard to describe the exhilaration I felt despite all the pain. It was glorious.”
Running a marathon is “not about the fun of the run,” Miller said, but “the joy of the finish line.”
Miller then applied his own experiences to what the apostle Paul went through as a man transformed into a believer in Christ.
“From the moment he met Jesus on the road to Damascus, Paul’s life was hard,” Miller said.
“In 2 Corinthians [chapter] 11, he recounts his intense sufferings, stresses and sorrows. Yet here, Paul here calls these afflictions ‘light and momentary,'” he continued.
“Is he in denial?” Miller continued. “Is he pretending, refusing to admit the reality of his sufferings? No, not at all,” he said.
“He made it clear in chapter 11 they were real and painful.”
Miller also said, “God never asks us to deny the reality of our pain.”
Paul put his sufferings in “eternal perspective,” said Miller, comparing them to the “eternal weight of glory” that awaits believers at “life’s finish line.”
He added, “Our sufferings are real, but they fade in proportion to the glory that lies ahead. We may go through difficult days, but we have a brilliant future, by God’s grace.”
He continued, “So, Paul says, ‘don’t lose heart. Press on. Walk by faith when your soul is weary and sore. Our lives today are about more than just the fun of the race but the joy of the finish line. It will be worth it all.’”
Miller then referred to the hymn, “When We See Christ,” saying, “‘One glimpse of his dear face, all sorrow will erase. So bravely run the race, till we see him.'”
Stay tuned for more Bible verses of the day during the Advent season. To see yesterday’s Bible verse, click here.
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