As you quiet yourself for this brief time, be willing to be open to God in whatever way that may take place.
2 Corinthians 4:16–5:5 (NRSV)
So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling— if indeed, when we have taken it off we will not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan under our burden, because we wish not to be unclothed but to be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church gives us a glimpse into the thoughts of Paul and the often contentious church at Corinth. I can hear just a bit of melancholy in Paul’s writing as he encouraged those who had stuck with him in spite of the obstacles. Paul could have been preaching to himself as he dictated this letter.
My own faith walk is not without moments of doubt, either. I can relate to Paul and his frustration with the situation. But Paul put on a brave face and encouraged the fledgling church to have faith. In essence he was saying, “Do not lose heart, for things will get better.”
We recently celebrated the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the mighty work he did for justice and equality across this country and beyond. He did not live to see the fruits of his labor, but they grew and blossomed. I am sure there were times when he felt like giving up, but he continued with the important work God had given him.
We all need encouragement from time to time. I’m thankful that Paul reminds us to look beyond the present and remember that great things are coming. Do not lose hope, God is on our side.
Lord, give us courage to keep the faith even when we are discouraged, and give us hope when we feel hopeless. Amen.
Go with God.