Glory far beyond all comparison
2 Corinthians 4:13-5:10 from the daily reading in The One Year Bible
Having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written: “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore we also speak, 14 knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus, and will present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, so that grace, having spread to more and more people, will cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
16 Therefore But we do not lose heart, but though our outer person is decaying, yet our inner person is being renewed day by day. 17 For our momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 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.
5 For we know that if our earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made by hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For indeed, in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, 3 since in fact after putting it on, we will not be found naked. 4 For indeed, we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave us the Spirit as a pledge.
6 Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight— 8 but we are of good courage and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 9 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive compensation for his deeds done through the body, in accordance with what he has done, whether good or bad.
Today’s text says: We do not lose heart, but though our outer person is decaying, yet our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our 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. Romans 8:28-30 says: we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. God is not the one who causes our afflictions, whether light or heavy. No matter though how difficult or heavy our afflictions may be, they pale in comparison to what God is doing in us through them. We are being conformed to the image of Christ. We are being transformed to His glory. The difficulties we face, even if they should last for a lifetime, are temporary, but the glory that we will know in Christ, because we are justified by Him through the cross is eternal.
In Psalm 118:5-6 the psalmist says: In my distress I called to the LORD, and He answered and set me free. The LORD is on my side; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? In today’s text it says: Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— for we walk by faith, not by sight— but we are of good courage and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. If we truly believe in the glorious eternal life that we will have in Christ, then nothing this world can do to us should cause us to fear. It is not necessarily that we prefer death over life. In John 10:10 Jesus says: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came so that they would have life, and have it abundantly.” Part of living the abundant life that Christ came to give us is to walk by faith, not by sight. It is not to focus on the situations and the circumstances of the world, but rather to focus of the glory of the kingdom of God. Regardless of our circumstance, our ambition should be to be pleasing to Him, to love Him. In everything we are to respond as we are called according to the purposes of God. In Psalm 37:4 the psalmist says: Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. In truth, He not only gives us our hearts desire, He is our hearts desire. We get what we want, when all that we want is Him. That is the abundant life that we have in Christ, that He is all that we could ever want or need.
The text says: We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive compensation for his deeds done through the body, in accordance with what he has done, whether good or bad. If we have died to self and lived for Christ, then it is by His body, which was broken for us, that we will be judged. In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus says: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; leave Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” In John 14:15 Jesus says: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” That’s a pretty straight forward statement: If we love Him, we will keep His commandments. If on the other hand, we choose to continue in sin, to practice lawlessness, we will be judged, not by the body of Christ, but by our own works. In the presence of the Father, Jesus will say: ”I never knew you.”
May Romans 8:18;31-39 be our declaration and prayer: The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. …If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring charges against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, but rather, was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or trouble, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? Just as it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We were regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.