One Thing 12/5/17

2 Cor. 4:16 , Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

2 Cor. 5:6, Therefore, being always of good courage, and… 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight 8 we are of good courage, I say…

In the context of referencing affliction, and the decaying of the outer man, Paul says that “we do not lose heart,” and that can “always be of good courage.” The question is how is it possible to always be of good courage, and to not lose heart even in the midst of emotional and physical pain? The answer is that we must maintain, day by day, the renewal in our inner man, no matter what is going on around us. We have to walk by faith, and not by sight, obsessing with the external stuff. In verse 4:18 Paul tells us what walking by faith looks like, especially as we walk through affliction, when he says the renewal of our inner man happens daily while we “look” (it’s the word that literally means “to contemplate, scope, and mark”) not at the “seen” but at that which is “eternal.” As a matter of reality, if we keep the eyes of our heart focused on the eternal and not the sight stuff, the affliction itself will become our servant by producing in us an eternal weight of glory. Glory carries a weight, and the weight of glory that is produced in us in the fire, will become so much heavier than the burden, that the burden itself will begin to feel momentary and light, no matter how heavy the burden once felt. Look at what 2 Cor. 3:18, and 5:6 says in light of what I’ve been saying, because it’s all connected to what Paul is trying to say.

“ But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as mirrors the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. “
“ For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”

Contemplating the eternal is to contemplate Jesus who is the glory of God in us, and for us. To behold Him, who is eternal life, 1 Jn. 1:1-2, and how he sees, feels and thinks about the situation, is to look to the eternal. To gaze on His heart, and His adequacy for whatever we are facing, is to posture ourselves for daily renewal, and increasing manifestation of His glory (life, likeness, splendor) in us.