Daily Devotional from David Niednagel. David uses the S.O.A.P. method in his time of daily meditation and study. (study, observe, apply, pray)
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 We never give up
2 Cor. 4:16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17 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! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. NLT
“We never give up!” Never? Isn’t there a time to give up? No! Why? Because when someone with Christ living inside is “broken”, the light of Christ shines out. Paul’s life was Christ (Phil 1:21) and his message was Christ. And the message was so unusual, it took more than words. Jesus’ life of humility, serving and brokenness must be displayed, not just described. So Paul gladly endured the rejection and violence because he was confident that it was a necessary part of evangelism and discipleship. (Col 1:24) And rather than getting more discouraged and depressed, his spirit was being renewed more every day. How did he do that?
He kept reminding himself that the persecution wouldn’t be too severe (they could only kill his body and Jesus would raise it back up) and it wouldn’t last too long (seldom more than 70 years). He also claimed that he would share in Christ’s glory when He comes with his angels (Rom 8:17-18; 2 Thes 1:7-10) and it would more than make up for whatever disrespect and shame others tried to dump on him. Everything visible (our clothes, cars, houses, bodies, etc) is temporary, so he was thankful for them and used them and cared for them, but he could let them go. Life was more than things.
But there were things that would last, and they were not “things”. They were the souls of humans and the glory of the eternal God. Paul taught himself to fix his vision on those things that were invisible.
Lord of Glory, You humbled Yourself, gave up everything, but were raised up and will receive everything back for eternity. I praise Your humility and Your majesty! And thank You that You have chosen to share it all with us. Help me consider it as much a privilege to suffer for You as to believe in You (Phil 1:27-29), and be as faithful as Paul was. Help me fix my eyes on the glory You will share with us, more than on the cars and things of this world. Lord, may my spirit be renewed every day even as my body wears out, and may Your life shine out through me. Amen!