“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).
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.
On our western trip Brooksyne saw the Grand Canyon for the first time in her life. (I had first seen it a few years ago during a trip for a chaplaincy conference in Phoenix). Of course she has viewed photos and knew it was immense, but actually seeing it is quite different. No photo really begins to capture the immensity, majesty and grandeur of actually being there. In fact you only see a small part of the canyon from any viewpoint.
That’s similar to our comprehension of heaven. We may consider the very best or very biggest in this world and realize heaven is a lot bigger and better than that. But even that’s woefully inadequate. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9)
In the daily text Paul calls us to focus on the unseen. “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.” Fixing our eyes in this manner requires concentration and focus. It means to “fix one’s gaze upon, to concentrate one’s attention on.” Physically our eyes observe what is seen but Paul is referring to our spiritual eyes here, a focus on the unseen, eternal Kingdom that awaits all who follow Christ.
“For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” What we now see with our physical sight is extremely limited and temporary. Only God who created and oversees the entire universe is stable and unchanging. The Greek word used here for “temporary” (proskairos) indicates the contrast between the temporal, which is also indefinite and the eternal, which is definite.
Today we urge you to focus your heart on the One of whom we sing, “Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not, as Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be”. Fix your eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. In the midst of any challenges you face on this day view them not just with a temporal viewpoint but from an eternal perspective.
We are especially aware of readers who are going through difficult times as you read this. Just last night we received word that a longtime friend of ours went home to be with the Lord after a long hard struggle. Thinking he was making improvement the notification surprised us and the grief of such a loss filled our minds all through the night, most especially for his now widowed wife, children, and grandchildren.
The immediate preceding verse declares, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17). “For our light and momentary troubles.” To make any sense from this phrase we must have an eternal perspective. During a season of trial it may not seem light or momentary but God’s Word can bring assurance and confident faith to the believer.
We were blessed to see the grandeur of famous sights like the Grand Canyon. But we do well to remember all that we see with the visible eye is temporary, and that which God is building and designing in heaven will last for eternity. It will make the grandeur of this world pale in comparison. Let us fix our eyes on the unseen, which includes an eternal glory that far outweighs the visible trials on this side.
When we fully embrace this perspective it will make our troubles seem very light and momentary. But if we fail to do so the trials of life will rob us of the wellspring of joy that Jesus gives to each believer to help us endure, overcome, and triumph on our foes. To keep the eternal perspective we must remember to “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12).
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: In the maze of life’s events where we’re often a passenger on the rollercoaster of life’s ups and downs, may we never lose sight of You, Jesus. You are the unseen but ever-present Shepherd who protects, guides and tenderly comforts us in all our trouble. Thank You, Lord, that when change is constantly about us, You remain steadfast, faithful, and dependable. You are the Anchor that keeps us grounded in the unseen but eternal truths we build our lives upon. Keep us faithful and help us to fix our eyes on the unseen as we await that glad day when our faith will be rewarded with the visible, eternal blessings You have stored up for those who believe. Amen.
Grand Canyon photos
The mules used for the famed trail walk down into the canyon. Only one person has ever died while riding a mule up or down the canyon, a mule train employee crushed by one of the animals in a fall.
While on our bike ride, following a light rainfall, we saw this faint rainbow over the canyon. In fact, we saw two but this one we captured on camera.
Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
One name is stronger.
Than any grave, than any throne,
Christ exalted over all.
The only Saviour, Jesus Messiah.
To You alone our praise belongs,
Christ exalted over all.
“How Great Thou Art” Video
“Good, Good Father” Video Casting Crowns