March 26, 2014
READ: 2 Corinthians 4:1-18
So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever (v.18).
I love excellence and I even battle against perfectionism from time to time. But there are times I find speed more desirable than precision. As evidence, behind every picture on my walls is a cluster of tiny pinholes. It’s no wonder that the occasional picture falls from its place. After all, I can’t expect much from a technique that relies on a hairbrush in lieu of a hammer and a good eye instead of a tape measure. My attempts simply seemed faster than measured accuracy.
We can’t choose expediency in spiritual pursuits and expect to remain anchored in the will of God, especially when we face hardships. Paul reminded his readers in Corinth that “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe” (2 Corinthians 4:4). And some participants in the deeds of darkness created havoc for believers—sometimes even to the point of death (vv.11-12). Battles rage in the spirit realm. The force is no less vigorous than if we could feel the stinging arrows striking our physical bodies (Ephesians 6:12).
As fragile beings, we are often fear-ridden and beset by doubt. Yet God loved us enough to speak light into our darkness. Far more than an aesthetic adjustment, Paul’s admonition to “fix our gaze” is the choice between a superficial faith requiring little and the rock solid decision to remain steadfast (2 Corinthians 4:18).
Unmoved by circumstances, true faith rests on the surety of God at work in mortal humanity, a belief that “though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day” (v.16). It is, in essence, the conviction that He is at work in us (1 Corinthians 1:8-9). —Regina Franklin
365-day plan› 1 Samuel 16:1-13
Read Matthew 7:13-29 and consider the traits of a faith built on sand as compared to one built on the rock.
Have you been tempted to cut corners in times of difficulty? What does it mean for you to remain steadfast and still be real about the struggles you’re facing?