Wed Jan 4-What’s Temporary, What’s Eternal

2 Corinthians 4:16-17 (CEB)

16 So we aren’t depressed. But even if our bodies are breaking down on the outside, the person that we are on the inside is being renewed every day. 17 Our temporary minor problems are producing an eternal stockpile of glory for us that is beyond all comparison.


I know it’s early in 2023 to talk about hope failing. The year is still young enough to evoke excitement about what the days ahead might hold. I don’t want to quash that.

But I also know this – the old saying still holds that “into every life some rain must fall.” So we can expect that sometime before January 1, 2024, we’ll have at least a few hard days. I’ve always believed that the time for building up hope is not when the rain is actively falling, but rather while the sun is shining. That’s why it’s worth turning to this passage from 2 Corinthians now.

The apostle Paul was no stranger to adversity – economic, mental, physical, or spiritual. Yet he continued the gospel work that God had given him to do, day in and day out, no matter how difficult things got or how much resistance he faced. Why?

Because he knew how to weigh the temporary against the eternal. He understood the power of perspective. I don’t know about you, but this is a place where I’ll admit I struggle. A hard day can sometimes throw me off track in ways that I know are out of proportion to the actual difficulty I’m facing.

Sometimes it’s hard to keep the right perspective – to understand that today’s struggles pale in comparison to God’s blessings. That’s true in the present, but it’s even more true when we look toward eternity. Through every trial, we are building up “an eternal stockpile of glory for us that is beyond all comparison.”

When we face our temporary trials with God’s purposes and God’s promises in mind, the outcome is blessing – sometimes immediate, sometimes deferred, but always beyond comparison.

by Joe Monahan

For Pondering & Prayer

What are your top Bible verses for regaining perspective? If you want to start a list, maybe begin with 2 Corinthians 4:17. Commit it to memory by posting it on your mirror where you get ready in the morning or another prominent spot. This will help to build up a store of hope before the rains come!

Prayer: Lord, when things get difficult this year, remind me of the promises you’ve made to me through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Help me to live with eternity in mind so that I don’t lose perspective when adversity comes. Refill my reservoirs of hope. Amen.

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