My sister and I have not been in touch for a long time and when I asked how she was she said even though her physical being was gradually decaying, yet her spiritual being was renewed day by day. She knew that was a verse in the Bible but couldn’t think where. Later I found it was 2 Corinthians 4:16. But there was a little bit before those words which intrigued me. It said ‘For this reason we never become discouraged.’ What a statement of faith!
Why did the apostle Paul never become discouraged? If we read what he said in his letter before that we find the most marvellous passage about how he knew God had given him work to do and had made the light shine in his heart, ‘the knowledge of God’s glory shining in the face of Christ’. Yet Paul was aware that he himself was like a common clay pot with spiritual treasure within. He went on to tell of the tremendous hardships and sufferings he was enduring but knew it was all worth it as more and more people were being reached by God’s grace. These people ‘will offer to the glory of God more prayers of thanksgiving’.
Paul’s life was a matter of faith, not of sight. He looked forward to his home in heaven with the Lord but said ‘More than anything else, however, we want to please him, whether in our home here or there. For all of us must appear before Christ, to be judged by him’.
I realise that God wants to show me how to live this way, pleasing Him and being aware that I must give an account of what I’ve done to Jesus. If I knew I only had a short time to live on this earth I would consider very carefully what to put my time and efforts into, not wanting to waste the time. Why don’t I live that way all the time? Some things would not be worth bothering about, although people put a high importance and value on those things. Other things would gain tremendous value and would gain eternal rewards in heaven.
Prayer: Please help me, Lord, to see what is valuable in Your sight and give me the strength and power to do those things. Help me not to be dragged down, discouraged or diverted by what other people say or want me to do. Help me to keep my eyes fixed on You and to live by faith not sight. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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