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 – 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
I love the hope that this verse offers us as Christians, but I admit that my experience with trouble rarely feels “light and momentary.”
Has this been your experience as well?
This morning I woke up to trouble…heart-racing, face-flushed, and other physical responses our body will produce when trouble occurs.
Have you experienced this?
When uninvited trouble happens, often my first thought is, “Why?” I rationalize how God could have prevented it, and remind Him that since I spend a fair amount of time in prayer and His word, maybe I deserve a pass?
Have you felt this way?
When these situations come, I am so thankful for the above verse in Corinthians! Although my initial response is sometimes a reflection of my humanity, I can usually pivot my thinking to the eternal perspective, reflecting on the future blessings that await those who have accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord.
However, this verse of admonition does not let us dream about the perfection of heaven for long. We have a responsibility. We must choose to fix our eyes on Jesus. We know that doing this is a good thing, but HOW do we do it? The Bible does not give us “three guaranteed steps to fix our eyes on Jesus,” but I can share three things that help me do this.
First, I choose to stop thinking about myself and my feelings. I’ve heard it said that the person we think about the most often is ourselves; what a scary thought! It isn’t always easy, but resisting the urge to rehearse my thoughts about the situation is the first step to fixing my eyes on Jesus. Sometimes this means I need a distraction like exercising or talking with a friend about something else.
Next, I confess the sin of giving all my attention and energy to dwelling on temporary troubles. Even though it may take a little time to admit my weakness and confess with a humble heart, I try to own my tendency of allowing my flesh to drive my words and actions. The simple act of admitting a lack of obedience to “fix my eyes” on Jesus is the next step to applying the admonition of this verse.
And finally, I choose to immerse myself in a practice that helps me meditate on my Heavenly Father and His uncompromising character, despite my feelings or experiences. My go-tos are worship music, listening to a sermon, or reading my devotional or Bible. I replace my thoughts about the trouble I feel with HIS truth.
So, what are your light and momentary troubles today? Isn’t it encouraging to know that they are achieving eternal glory and that each one is temporary? Let’s not become content just knowing this truth, but rather, take it a step further and aim to fix our eyes on Jesus. When we do this, the perspective of eternity dominates our thoughts, and Jesus is the focus of our attention rather than the light and momentary troubles that are sure to come our way.