“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18 NIV84)
Have you ever been through one of those moments when you’re so absorbed in your own trials and suffering that they appear to be all-consuming and unbearable, only to hear about the unfortunate suffering of another person whose experience causes your suffering to pale in comparison? Sure, we all have! Sometimes our perspective about reality has to be adjusted. Paul, throughout his writings, tells us to walk by faith and not by sight. In our verses for today, he tells us fix our eyes on what is unseen and not on what is seen.
We will always have the wrong perspective if we allow our vision to be limited to what we see in this world. Paul’s beatings and imprisonments would have been unbearable if Paul saw life on this earth as an end. But he didn’t! He understood that life on this earth is a means to an end. His perspective was properly informed with the fact that life on this earth is temporary but life in heaven is eternal. In our moments of suffering, Paul would have us keep a proper perspective. Our suffering in this world is temporary, but our glory and peace in heaven will be eternal.
So, a prescription for a proper perspective: periodically close your eyes so that the only eyes you can see with are your eyes of faith. Focus not just on your suffering, but view your suffering with all eternity in focus. Paul promises if we do this we will gain a proper perspective of the reality we are living.