We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 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. (II Cor. 4:8-18)
These verses were on my mind this morning. As I read them, what really stood out to me was the thought that we are always being given over to death. When I first read those verses, perhaps decades ago, I probably thought of those verses merely in the context of the physical persecution that the first century church endured.
Rereading those verses now, however, I see them in a different light. Although we may not face persecution or actual death for our beliefs, we still face death in a different way as Christians. We have to die to ourselves, to our desires and will, in order to live in Christ. This is a daily death–sometimes I find myself having to “die” several times a day!
Part of that death to self involves putting aside the desire to see what’s happening next. So much of what I worry about is temporary. I need to fix my eyes on the unseen.