“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen, but 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
This has been a favorite passage of mine for a long time. It’s easy to become depressed as we age. We lose our parents; our children don’t seem to need us anymore; we can’t do the things we used to do physically, and even our mental faculties aren’t as sharp as they used to be. Paul reminds us in this letter to the Corinthian church that these things are only outer and temporary–they’re not what really counts.
What really matters is our relationship with God. As we worship, study, pray and fellowship with other Christians, that inner nature grows stronger. It doesn’t depend upon health, or a great job, or material possessions or other people. God loves us as we are, and meets us where we are. He is the one person in our life who will never change and never leave us.
Paul tells us that all the painful and frustrating losses are really just growing pains. They are preparing us to let go of this world and ready ourselves for the next. That new life with God will be so glorious, we won’t even miss all those fleeting things that seem so important right now. Listen to this description of the things that will last forever:
“Behold the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with then as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:3-4
Isn’t eternal life with God worth waiting for?