TAKING THE LONG LOOK

May 15, 2024

TAKING THE LONG LOOK

 
 
Life is a mixture of the hard and the easy, the bad and the good. If you follow Christ, particularly if you live to serve Christ, this seems even to be magnified.
 
If we are not careful on the hard days, we forget what this is all about. We can whine about our problems and wallow in self-pity. This is why Paul gave us two lists in 2 Corinthians 6:4-10. They consist of the hardships he was experiencing but also the joyful, beautiful realities. He lists 18 things in each, balancing the hard and the glorious. Read through the lists with pen in hand, and mark which ones you’ve experienced.
 
HARD THINGS
1. Endurance
2. Hardship
3. Distress
4. Beatings
5. Imprisonments
6. Tumults
7. Labors
8. Sleeplessness
9. Hunger
10. Dishonor
11. Evil report
12. Regarded as deceivers
13. Unknown
14. Dying
15. Punished
16. Sorrowful
17. Poor
18. Having nothing
 
GLORIOUS THINGS
1. Purity
2. Knowledge
3. Patience
4. Kindness
5. The Holy Spirit
6. Genuine love
7. The word of truth
8. The power of God
9. Weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left
10. Glory
11. Good report
12. True
13. Well-known
14. We LIVE!
15. Not put to death
16. Always rejoicing
17. Making many rich
18. Possessing all things
 
The truth for the follower of Christ is that even the hard things contribute to the glory of walking with Christ and serving Him and others. Nothing separates us from His love. All things work together for good to conform us to the image of God’s Son. Every step has meaning; every hardship has purpose. For the faithful follower of Jesus, there is no reason to despair. All are producing something, helping someone, and leading somewhere. We are carried by the long look.
 
Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (2 Corinthians 4:16-5:1)
 
Every hardship is momentary and light compared to the weight of glory… and heaven awaits!
 




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