Devotion for January 11, 2023

“We don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen.” (2 Corinthians 4:18, NLT)

If your focus is shortsighted — where you’re only thinking about your current difficulties or pain — then it’s only natural to want to give up. But if you look at things from an eternal perspective, then you’ll be able to keep going, no matter what happens.

“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18, NLT).

This passage gives us four reasons to stay strong emotionally and never give up:

  1. We never give up, because “our spirits are being renewed every day.” We wouldn’t dream of going a whole week without food, but some people don’t even open their Bibles for an entire week. That’s depriving our soul of the most essential nourishment it needs! If you want to renew your spirit every day, then get into God’s Word.
  2. We never give up, because “our present troubles are small and won’t last very long.” Problems don’t come to stay; they come to pass. Even if we have problems that last our entire lives, they would be miniscule compared to the trillions of years we’re going to have in heaven. We know that problems on earth are temporary and that God has long-range plans for us.
  3. We never give up, because we know our problems will “produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” God is using everything in our lives — even the hard stuff — to build our character for eternity. Romans 8:28 says, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose” (NIV).
  4. We never give up, because we “fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen.” When we’re focused on things that last forever, we’re able to finish the race because we have long-term thinking. Our attention is fixed on eternity.

So, what are you focused on today? Instead of looking at your problems, start looking at Jesus again. And don’t give up!

Prayer

Lord, I ask for Your grace to strengthen me when I have troubles. Increase my faith in the promises You have made, those that work in my life now and the promised victory to come. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Stay encouraged!

Pastor Mike

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