while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal, (4:18).
Let’s be honest. Paul’s description of his life and ministry is not the most appealing invitation; and to me, sounds anything but Wonderful. I just can’t help it; I like Hallmark movies. While yes, there may be a few bumpy patches before the inevitable happy resolution, for the most part the trials are miniscule and absolutely pale in comparison to those Paul endured. And besides, even if things get seemingly rough along the way, you already know you’re guaranteed a happily-ever-after ending.
And that is exactly why Paul was able to persevere. Paul was convinced that he had his happily-ever-after waiting; not here on earth, not during this life time, but just on the other side of here-and-now; more certain than any movie, more real than any storybook ending, unless of course you’re reading the greatest Story ever told in the greatest Book ever written; His Book filled with the Wonder of His Eternal Things.
Consider the Wonder of His Eternal Things
- The Wonder of His Eternal Things: the Light of the knowledge of the Glory of God
- For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ, (4:6).
- The Wonder of His Eternal Things: the surpassing greatness of His Power
- But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; (4:7).
- The Wonder of His Eternal Things: His Deliverance from despair and destruction
- we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; (4:8-9).
- The Wonder of His Eternal Things: His Life manifested in our mortal flesh
- always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh, (4:10-11).
- The Wonder of His Eternal Things: our resurrected life presented with Jesus before the Father
- knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you, (4:14).
- The Wonder of His Eternal Things: the daily renewal of our inner man
- Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day, (4:16).
- The Wonder of His Eternal Things: an eternal weight of glory beyond compare
- For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, (4:17).
- The Wonder of His Eternal Things: though unseen now, His Wonder will be ours forever
- while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal, (4:18).
How do we respond to the Wonder of His Eternal Things?
Looking at the things which are not seen does not happen by accident. That is a choice we must make each and every day, actually each and every moment. Because let’s face it, the stuff we can see, that temporal stuff, is a very competitive magnet with its constant visible lure. And even the stuff we can’t see, the stuff that feels so real, relentlessly vies for our attention.
But in His Book that is filled with the Wonder of His Eternal Things, He has given us all the knowledge we need for godliness as we live in our temporary dwelling here on earth.
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence, (2 Peter 1:2-3).
The question is, do we believe it? And if we believe it, do we choose to live in His Truth rather than our circumstances or feelings?
Today, let us choose to turn our eyes to His Truth, that He would multiply His grace and peace in us as we grow in our knowledge and faith in the Wonder of His Eternal Things.
For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, (2 Corinthians 5:1).
When life’s circumstances threaten to overshadow the confidence and peace we have in His Eternal promises, it is then that we must deliberately choose to fix our thoughts on the Wonder of His Eternal Things.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things, (Philippians 4:8 NIV).
All that is True, Noble, Right, Pure, Lovely, Admirable, Excellent and Praiseworthy is perfectly expressed in Jesus Christ. As we seek Him and fix our thoughts on the beauty of our Risen Savior, our afflictions, confusions, persecutions and hurts will fade in comparison to the Wonder of His Eternal Things.
He knows we need to be reminded, a lot; so He has repeatedly told us how we are to live as we wait for the day when all the Wonder of His Eternal Things will be clearly seen.
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God, (Colossians 3:1-3).
Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest, (Hebrews 3:1 NIV).
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart, (Hebrews 12:1-3).
Today, let us intentionally choose to set our minds, fix our thoughts and our eyes on Jesus, Who endured so much for our sakes, to bring us to Himself. As we consider Jesus and the Wonder of His Eternal Things, He will be faithful to provide all we need to prevail against weariness and hopelessness.
We have been called and equipped to spread the fragrance of His love, mercy, grace and salvation to a lost and dying world. As we choose to live for the sake of others, we will experience the Wonder of His Eternal Things, even in our here-and-now.
So death works in us, but life in you… 15 For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God, (4:12, 15).
May we choose to live for the sake of others, that His grace would spread and result in thanksgiving and glory to God as we wait for for the day He reveals all the Wonder of His Eternal Things.
When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory, (Colossians 3:4).
For we know, the day is coming when the Wonder of His Eternal Things will become sight.