“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though 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
Just this afternoon, I received a phone call from a dear friend who is going through a turbulent struggle, one that is threatening the very life of her beloved son. After months of caring for the needs of this young man, she is tired; emotionally exhausted, physically depleted, and psychologically worn. Still, the cheery voice on the phone this day is filled with joy and strength as she relates how God is caring for her soul; that at the core of her very being, her heart is overflowing with renewed strength and hope in spite of anything that is happening outwardly. In the face of a life and death struggle, she is a living, breathing example of living from your heart.
There are many examples of people just like my friend; perhaps you are thinking of someone like her right now. How do they do it? How do they not lose heart in the face of desperate suffering? In our fast-food-society of quick fixes, how is it that some endure the long haul with such grace?
Here are just a couple of things that I see in my friend’s life that seem to make the difference for her. However, it is not a matter of things to do—it is a response from her heart. Her heart seeks:
The “light in the darkness” (2 Corinthians 4:6).
God’s promises for our suffering! (2 Corinthians 4:8-12)
The glory in suffering (2 Corinthians 4:17; Romans 8:17)
An eternal perspective (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
When we are faced with a struggle of the heart, we are tempted to respond with our own strength or ability. We analyze, we theorize, we categorize. Our minds race to find relief from our pain. Each is in vain, if we do not engage our heart; for it is there that we willfully surrender our struggle to our Victor; the One who understands our pain and displays His glory through our sufferings (2 Corinthians 4:12b).
Reread 2 Corinthians 4, begin this time with Verse 1 and don’t stop until the last word of verse 18. Take a moment and listen with your heart. Are you in a spiritual battle right now? What are your eyes “fixed on (v. 18)? What are you seeking? Have you engaged your heart? Let His light shine through—it’s there, He placed it in your heart “to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” Let your heart so shine!
Written by blog/author, Published In LifeLine Devotionals, March 19, 2007