“We do not lose heart.
Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison…” 2 Cor. 4:16-17
Heavenly Father, once again we return to the Gospel-infused perspective Paul had during a time of extreme pressure, stress, and affliction (2 Cor. 11:23-30). We’ll resist the temptation to compare ourselves to Paul; but because we share the same Father with him, we ask you to do a similar work in our hearts.
Our hearts might be heavy, but we don’t have to lose them to fear, anxiety, and hopelessness. Renew our inner self day by day, by the work of your Spirit, the riches of grace, and the hope of glory.
Though this virus and its impact don’t have the feel of a “light momentary affliction,” by the scales of heaven and the calendar of grace, it actually is. You have placed eternity in our hearts and mortality in our bones. Free us to live with a greater sense of the brevity of life (Psalm 90:12), and the preciousness of heaven (Philippians 1:23).
Make this more real to us than ever, Father: “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). We love you only because you first loved us, by giving Jesus to be our loving Savior and perfect righteousness. Thank you!
With heaven settled, free us now to live with a greater sense of neighbor love. We don’t want to waste this affliction on self-preservation and self-preoccupation. Being wise, careful, and more generous than ever, how can we best serve others being impacted by this “light momentary affliction”? May the wait of grace and weight of glory compel us in the coming hours and days. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ wonderful and merciful name.
(Friends, here’s a link to the Christ Community Church worship service in which I preached yesterday on the School of Affliction. I include it today because many of you asked for it. It was a most encouraging service. https://christcommunity.org/