Read: 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Hope is sometimes all I have left to cling to. Throughout most of my life, I have struggled with depression. There are many days where it feels like a battle to do regular everyday tasks, where getting out of bed and getting ready for the day feels physically painful. Even breathing feels like a chore, and I quite frankly don’t feel like living. I want to give in. I want to take the easy way out. I’ve often found myself curled up in a ball, tears running down my face, praying to God.
It is often in that vulnerability where I find my strength. This strength is one that comes from the Holy Spirit. I remind myself that I have to keep fighting because it is my duty to serve Christ in all that I do. I remind myself that the harshness of our life is not all there is. There is an eternity in Christ. He will reward His faithful servants. I fight by holding on to that hope.
The author of 2 Corinthians, the apostle Paul, discusses this hope. Paul had numerous trials throughout his life. He was beaten, jailed, and persecuted. Even though he suffered, he preached the gospel of Jesus persistently because he knew that there was a bigger picture. He understood that the sufferings of this world wouldn’t last forever and that someday He would be in glory with Jesus Christ.
In the book of Corinthians, Paul encouraged the Corinthian church to persevere. Verse 16 says, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day” (2 Cor 4:16).
He is reminding the Corinthians to “not lose heart,” to not give up, to persevere. When we persevere, our inward self is made righteous in Christ and we grow in our relationship with Him. Paul is telling the church to not focus on the pain and heartaches of this world, but to fix their eyes on Jesus instead.
This world is temporary, but our God is eternal. Paul writes in verse 17, “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” Our hope can rest in eternity and in Him. God will reward His servants who persevere through the suffering we may face.
There is a reason for our trials. They point us to what we cannot see. Verse 18 tells us, “as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” Although we can’t see Him, we can have faith that He is there. We can find our hope in Him.
If you are struggling today, I encourage you to take a walk. Get some fresh air. Clear your mind. Take time to pray to our Heavenly Father. Ask Him to help you keep your eye fixed on Him through any trail you may go through. Ask him for perseverance.