God uses our troubles today for inner renewal and eternal glory
'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, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.'
2 Corinthians 4v16-18 (NIV)
We are all losing heart, in fact it's hard not to lose heart! As much as the humorous videos and pictures make us laugh, they are not enough to keep us going. Every new day brings us back to the shocking reality; We miss the embrace of a loved one, the cup of tea with a friend; We care for our children, their stress and mental health; We hope we'll get through today, never mind the days that lie ahead. How can he say our troubles are 'light and momentary'? They are heavy and no end is in sight! But yet the encouragement is, 'we do not lose heart'. God is working good purposes in our lives each day as we trust in him.
First, our wasting away leads to inner renewal. 'Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.' Outwardly, physically we are wasting away. Our eyes fail, our hearing goes, we forget what tablets to take. As much as we enjoy life, the older we get the harder it gets. But we do not lose heart. The outward wasting leads to inner renewal. God takes our every day struggles and uses them to strengthen us and build us up in our character. We are renewed in heart, to face each new day with his strength.
Second, our suffering today leads to an eternal glory. 'For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that outweighs them all.' Compare and contrast - The weight of the troubles we carry today is nothing compared to the joyful weight of eternal glory. In fact our troubles are 'achieving' our glory. So we do not lose heart. Sufferings are the means God uses to keep us depending on him and trusting in him, so that we reach what is eternal. 'So we fix our eyes not on what is seen (the temporary), but on the unseen (the eternal).' We do not grasp what is failing we look in faith to what is promised.
Thank you God, that you understand the times we lose heart and want to give up. Help us to fix our eyes on you and on what you have promised. Thank you that by faith we can say, our wasting away leads to inner renewal and our suffering today leads to eternal glory.