“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
11 Corinthians 4:16-18.
This has been a hard week for many of us. For me it started 2 weeks ago and continues with the agonizing debilitation of the effects of gout in all its pain. I was quickly drawn back to how small of a thing this was in the light of the word we received that Mr. Boxum had passed away. Today we got the news that one of our Chapel brother’s cancer had come back. These things are hard. When these things happen we want to shout “LORD”!!! WHY!!!
Than we remember we live in a fallen world that is suffering and groaning since the time of Adam. This “dying” has been the lot of all humanity and we who are claimed by Christ are not exempt from the effects of sin and are daily reminded of that in so many ways.
God in His gift of Grace, also gives us the gift of faith, and teaches us to run to the comfort of his word. This word can only be understood by faith in Christ as it is superintended by the Holy Spirit. He gently and sometimes forcefully leads us to the comfort of his word. See our text above; but begin with all of Chapter 4 and see the progression of change and growth in us as we look in the face of Christ. There is a purpose here and we find it often through suffering however look at the outcome! Despite the hard experiences of our outer self which is wasting away our inner self in contrast under goes renewal. THIS IS WHO WE ARE AND WHOSE WE ARE, thanks be to God. The key word is “being renewed DAY BY DAY. We look at 11 Corinthians 3:18-“But we all, with unveiled faces, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
Bonhoeffer states “Slowly it gets to be waiting whose outward sense I cannot comprehend; the inward reason must be found daily. Time today is a costly commodity, for who knows how much time is given to us.”
I would like to close with a poem by Annie Johnson Flint:
“ BETTER THAN MY BEST”
I prayed for strength, and then I lost awhile
All sense of nearness, human and divine;
The love I leaned on failed and pierced my heart,
The hands I clung to loosed themselves from mine;
But while I swayed, weak trembling and alone,
The everlasting arms upheld my own.
I prayed for light;
the sun went down in clouds,
the moon was darkened by a misty doubt.
The stars of heaven were dimmed by earthly fears,
and all my little candle flames burned out;
But while I sat in shadow, wrapped in night,
The face of Christ made all the darkness bright.
I prayed for peace, and dreamed of restful ease,
a slumber free from pain, a hushed repose;
above my head the skies were black with storm,
and fiercer grew the onslaught of my foes;
But while the battle raged, and wild winds blew,
I HEARD HIS VOICE and perfect peace I knew.
I thank you, Lord,
You were too wise to heed my feeble prayers, and answer as I sought,
since these rich gifts Your bounty has bestowed.
Have brought me more than all I asked or thought;
Giver of good, so answer each request,
with your own giving, better than my best.