Blog Post 8 for Apologetics
March 22, 2018
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ESV
So, we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
When I read this passage, I am reminded of Paul and his ow trials and tribulations. He consistently uses a “we” when he speaks through this passage and discusses the outward vs inward worries that Christians should be dealing with. The Corinthians at the time were worried about visible objects and troubles and triumphs. They spent their time expecting that followers of Jesus would reign as kings and queens, but Paul, in this passage, is ready to tell them otherwise.
The first sentence in this passage Paul is reminding us to accept that our physical bodies are in decline, but that we should not be in distress as God is helping build our spiritual strength. Physical injuries and harm should not bear us down as we should have faith that God knows what’s best for us. Following that it would seem that Paul is telling us that as a follower of Christ we should be expecting afflictions, true Christians have problems too and we should not get tied up in our troubles.
The last verse in this passage expresses Paul’s attempt at encouraging the Corinthians to stop worrying too much about temporary this in the physical world and instead to look towards what God has in his kingdom for us. All of our senses are temporary and will eventually disappear along with sin. We will no longer be able to see, taste, touch, smell or hear, so we should not spend our time worrying about issues that we witness physically.
For me this verse is encouraging, but scary. Paul is telling us straight up, that our life will be difficult as a Christian. We will have physical pains, our bodies are going to decay and rot, but that should not be our focus. As our physical bodies start to decay, god will build up our spiritual strength. When I look at the issues that face our world today it is really hard not to worry. It seems that at almost any moment a new war could start, or an pandemic that cause so much physical pain that we can’t image. There are so many things that we could spend our time worrying about, but this would consume us completely. Paul wants us to instead set our mind to what is eternal and unseen.
Though it feels so fatalist, I personally find this quite helpful. I don’t enjoy pain or suffering, but I find it way more bearable knowing that we have so much more to look forward to. If temporary pain may bring eternal joy, then I would be fine taking a bit of a beating in this life.