Yesterday when I began exercising on our elliptical machine, I noticed that Jimmy had taped a Bible verse on the dashboard. I am assuming he wants to memorize it.
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Thought 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. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
I committed this verse to memory years ago, and I thought about it again and how it applies to our lives as I was exercising yesterday. Paul, who wrote this letter to the Corinthians, certainly had more light and momentary troubles than most people today. He was persecuted and subjected to various hardships because he was a Christian and a preacher of the Gospel. Yet, he calls these hardships (hunger, shipwreck, beatings, imprisonment, and others) "light and momentary troubles" in light of his eternal reward.
What are your troubles today? sickness? terminal illness? physical pain,? failing marriage? wayward children? sick children? unemployment? financial difficulties? an overwhelming to-do list? broken down vehicle? arguing children? aging parents? stressful job? Whatever our troubles are for this day, let us keep in mind the big picture. Our daily trials, no matter how large and ominous they seem, are just that--daily trials, light and momentary troubles achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. Our hope is heaven! So let us do as Paul states and "fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen".
How do we do this? How do we get past being consumed by our daily trials?
1. Practice thanksgiving. There is always something you can be thankful for. Regularly thank God for any and all blessings you can think of. Thank the people around you for what they have done for you. Thanksgiving produces joy. When you are thankful you realize all that you DO have, all that IS going right in your life. This takes your mind off your current troubles.
2. Think about the early Christians, the ones we read about in the New Testament. Compare their lives to yours, their hardships to yours, their commitment to following Jesus to yours.....we can all improve our attitudes when we realize how stressful (and endangered) their lives were, just because they were Christians. Certainly our problems pale in comparison.
3. Keep your eyes on the eternal. Loving God and serving Him through obedience is all that really matters. God has not promised us an easy life. We have no promise of a trouble-free existence. We certainly do not deserve an easy ride. Keep this in mind and be grateful. Be grateful for every single positive thing you can think of.
4. "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" Philippians 4:4