Years have gone by and very little has changed. Circumstances are still frustrating, life is increasingly hard to manage, and there are scores of laments that all of us can throw to the wind. Difficulties abound in this broken and sick world; the afflictions we experience are real. When we look at the life we have been given and consider the cards that we have been dealt, it is easy to lose hope.
But, are your circumstances truly hopeless? Where can you find hope when life seems so lost?
We must first face the facts that this broken world has done a number on our hearts. The difficulties we experience are real and the afflictions that come, trick our hearts to hesitate in faith. We become quick to distrust and to seek relief in the security of comfort. Inclined to weariness, circumstances rocked us off course and we lose sight of our journey's end.
This is why hope, peace and joy will never be found in the circumstances in life. We cannot trust this world to be anything but broken. Do not grasp for fleeting hope; instead, teach your heart to be steadfast by abiding the truth of God's word.
What does God's word say about difficulties and afflictions in the Christian life?
"16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,18 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."2 Corinthians 4:16-18
These Afflictions are Momentary
"For this light momentary affliction..." 2 Corinthians 4:17
The afflictions of life are momentary, they will not last forever. What a hope filled and gracious thought! The difficulties that we experience here, in this broken world, will one day cease to be difficult. The circumstances that afflict us are momentary; meaning that they have an end.
This is a perspective changing reminder. We must recall this truth continually, especially in difficult seasons of life, lest we lose our hearts in the fray and chaos of the momentary. As we await the end of afflictions, there are certainly days when we feel like giving up. In those days, live on the truth and take heart.
"For his anger is but for a moment,
and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning."
These Afflictions are Earthly
"For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:18
In defense of our hearts, we must also acknowledge the that our difficult circumstances are also earthly. They are not eternal and will not follow us at the end of our journey. The afflictions of this broken world will remain with this broken world even as we move from this life to the next.
We must not lose our hearts over perishing problems, but instead look to the truths that are eternal. Recognizing day in and day out that our only hope for peace and joy is found in abiding with Christ and living within the will of God.
"And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever." 1 John 2:17
We Must not lose Heart
"So we do not lose heart." 2 Corinthians 4:16
Here is where the rubber meets the the road; as Christians we cannot lose our heart. Our hearts are fickle and easily swayed. The scriptures even tell us that our hearts can be down right "deceitful." It really does not take much and our hearts are cast into a spiral of emotions and feeling; therefore we cannot trust our hearts to lead us in good and right ways.
Let us all rely on the truth of God's word and put our hope only in the Good News of the Gospel. Let this world and its circumstances fade, and let our hearts be renewed in Christ as we live by faith and aiming our actions to be pleasing to God.
"So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil." 2 Corinthians 5:6-10