Where’s Your Focus?
2 Corinthians 4:17-18
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 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. (NIV)
December 18, 2021
To achieve something is to overcome obstacles. Whether you worked hard to win a championship, earn a degree, or get a promotion, achievement requires perseverance to succeed.
The apostle Paul is addressing the church in Corinth and their suffering. It is the suffering we are all familiar with. Suffering works to steal our faith and fill us with doubt. It works to foster fear and kill courage. Whether this suffering will accomplish its goal depends on our focus.
Paul exhorts us to fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. Keep your eyes on Jesus.
I remember in college having to go and workout on the track without a coach in the Summer. We were required to go out and run so many sprints every day. When I would run by myself, my focus would turn to the excruciating pain in my legs. I was ready to quit. But in the fall, the coaches would return. We would run the same, but they, in very loud voices, would remind us this was making us stronger for victory.
When we suffer and keep our eyes on Jesus, He reminds us that our suffering has a purpose – to increase our faith. And faith is our victory.
When someone we love is sick and we pray for healing, that prayer requires faith. But if God hasn’t healed them yet and now ten years have gone by and we are still praying, it takes faith times ten years to keep praying. The suffering has made us stronger because He reminds us that suffering produces, perseverance, and perseverance produces character, and character leads us to hope. And because He is the God of hope, He will not disappoint us. We will win the victory.
So, the question is where are you looking? Are you focused on how bad things are or how God is using the pain to make your faith stronger? When your focus is correct, the pain will diminish because you will see victory in your mind’s eye. Where’s your focus? Fix your eyes on Jesus.
Prayer: Lord, fill my ears with encouragement and my eyes with Your glory. Help me to endure this pain and strengthen my faith for greater things. Amen.