SEE THE UNSEEN

The third Friday of each month in 2019 we’re studying my favorite life verses: 2 Corinthians 4:15-18. This section of Scripture has proven a solid source of faith for me through many challenges over the past fifteen years. As we work our way through this passage you’ll see it build on the previous phrases all the way to the end.

” 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 what is unseen…”

~ 2 Corinthians 4:15-18a

Although we don’t like to hear it, the life of a Believer will always be one filled with difficulties. Jesus even told us to expect them. Life is a series of problems beginning and ending over and over again. And we’re supposed to walk seemingly blind through them all with our faith guiding us.

What is this unseen leading factor called faith?

The author of Hebrews defines faith for us:

” Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.”  ~ Hebrews 11:1

What does this kind of faith look like in reality? All we have to do is read the stories in the book of Hebrews “Hall of Faith” chapter 11 to see this faith:

      • Noah built the ark for a flood when he had never seen rain.
      • Abraham obeyed God’s calling to leave his home for an unseen land.
      • Moses kept the Passover before seeing the deliverance it would bring.

Like these Patriarchs, we’re to have the kind of faith that believes God will bring us to the other side of each struggle in His perfect way. This challenges our natural minds because we can’t see spiritual things. We want proof that it’s going to work out…. not later but now!

When struggling with our finances we need to put on our “Jesus glasses” and see that God will provide for all our needs but maybe not all our wants.

When struggling with health issues we need to put on our “Jesus glasses” and see ourselves healed healthy and whole no matter how we feel today.

Whatever the problem is we can put on our “Jesus glasses” and see by faith that God is solving it in His perfect time!

” You’re always moving in the unseen

   The breath You exhale sustaining me

   Before I call, You know my need

   You’re always going before me.”

NOT WHAT IS SEEN

The third Friday of each month in 2019 we’re studying my favorite life verses: 2 Corinthians 4:15-18. This section of Scripture has proven a solid source of faith for me through many challenges over the years. As we work our way through this passage you’ll see it build on the previous phrases all the way to the end.

“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…”

 

The world is all about the seen. People say, I’ll believe it when I see it. But God tells us to believe even when we don’t see. That sounds crazy and impossible, which is exactly what God is best at… doing the crazy impossible things!

What are you looking at today?

An empty bank account…

A dead-end job…

A dream unfulfilled…

We must stop looking at what we see and focus our eyes on what we can’t see: God and His promises for our life.

Now faith brings our hopes into reality and becomes the foundation needed to acquire the things we long for. It is all the evidence required to prove what is still unseen.” ~ Hebrews 11:1 (The Passion Translation)

The verse above tells us that our faith, now faith… today’s faith… this moment’s faith becomes the foundation that we need to reach the things we long for. Our faith is the only evidence required to prove what is still invisible, the things which we are hoping for.

Think about that statement for a minute. Our faith, your faith and my faith is the only thing standing between us and the manifestation of what we are hoping for!

I don’t know about you, but I’m hoping for a great many things… financial provision, physical health, complete family restoration, reunited not just in spirit and truth but geographically. I’m hoping for my dream to teach and minister to women… the list could go on but your get my point.

“…[Abraham] is our example and father, for in God’s presence he believed that God can raise the dead and call into being things that don’t even exist yet.” ~ Romans 4:17 (TPT)

Now… today… this moment… I must have the faith to see these things that are yet invisible to my physical eyes. I must reach deep into my spirit, put on my Jesus glasses and see these things with my eyes of faith and believe that they exist even before I can see them… like Abraham did.

Maybe the most important part of this kind of faith is not just to believe it and see with eyes of faith, but to thank God for them with faith-full words in advance.

Lord, give me the kind of faith Abraham had. Help me to believe, see and profess with faith-filled words of thanksgiving, and receive the things I am believing you for!   ~ AMEN

Watch this wonderful video by Hillsong United and contemplate how you can fix your eyes of faith on the unseen things in your life today.

FIX YOUR EYES

The third Friday of each month in 2019 we’re studying my favorite life verses: 2 Corinthians 4:15-18. This section of Scripture has proven a solid source of faith for me through many challenges over the past fifteen years. As we work our way through this passage you’ll see it build on the previous phrases all the way to the end.

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…

 

What we focus on draws our attention. When we focus our eyes on something, we will eventually gravitate towards it. If I am riding a bicycle and start looking at a tree on the side of the path, there’s a good chance I will ride towards the tree.  While driving a car, if we take our eyes of the road in front of us and start looking at something on the side of the road, it’s possible we will run off the road.

What influences our life changes our behavior. In our lives if we focus on the wrong behaviors we will eventually begin to act on those things. If we are hanging around people who have bad habits like drinking, smoking, gambling, using drugs, etc… it’s just a matter of time before those same bad habits will show up in our life as well.

I will meditate on your precepts, 

and fix my eyes on your ways.  

~ Psalm 119:15

By keeping our hearts and minds focused on Christ, keeping God’s Word in front of our eyes daily we will be certain to walk out the right behavior, good habits and attitudes.

Where are your eyes fixed today?

 

Contemplate where your eyes are fixed today with this lovely song by People and Songs.

LIGHT TROUBLES

The third Friday of each month in 2019 we’re studying my favorite life verses: 2 Corinthians 4:15-18. This section of Scripture has proven a solid source of faith for me through many challenges over the past fifteen years. As we work our way through this passage you’ll see it build on the previous phrases all the way to the end.

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, 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.*

 

Everyone has troubles in life. Some people expect when they turn their life over to God they will live free from problems. The opposite is actually true. Jesus told us not to be surprised when we encounter problems in this fallen world.

Thankfully God gave us many lessons in Scripture to help us work through our troubles. Here are a few verses that will help us unpack Paul’s teaching:

  1. 1. See troubles as tests to refine our character.

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and privies gold–though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed  to the whole world. ~ 1 Peter 1:6-7 **

We must accept that troubles are burning away our character flaws; purifying us to be more like Christ. We can be confident that God is directing our lives toward good and will always provide the strength we need to make it through.

  1. 2. See troubles as opportunities to grow and learn.

Brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. ~ James 1:2-4 **

We don’t want to fake happiness in the face of troubles, but rather we can have a positive outlook knowing the trouble we are enduring are producing good character qualities in our life.

3. See troubles as preparation for your glorious future.

Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. ~ Romans 8:18

God often uses troubles to test what we are able to withstand. He is testing to see what weight of glory are we prepared to live under. Too much glory, too many blessings on an unprepared life could crush it. But the glory resting on a prepared and fully sanctified life will establish it.

The Apostle Paul gives us great insight into the troubles we will encounter. He wants us to recognize God has a purpose for the troubles we’re going through. Let’s go forward and see our trying circumstances with a different prospective and with a better attitude. We can trust that God is refining our character, giving us opportunities to grow and preparing us for a glorious future with Him!

We hold tight to the promise of new life

Our hope in Jesus Christ will never fail or fall

These light and momentary trials

Are gaining us a prize that far outweighs them all.

~  from Light and Momentary by For All Seasons

Contemplate the momentary trials you’re undergoing. Click and listen to  Light and Momentary  by For All Seasons .

 

*New International Verson

** New Living Translation

RENEWED DAY BY DAY

The third Friday of each month in 2019 we’re studying my favorite life verses: 2 Corinthians 4:15-18. This section of Scripture has proven a solid source of faith for me through many challenges over the past fifteen years. As we work our way through this passage you’ll see it build on the previous phrases all the way to the end.

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, inwardly we are being renewed day by day…

 

The faith walk isn’t for the faint of heart. When we look back over our life we will see the days that matured our faith were the ones that were the most difficult. The trials and challenges we undergo are building our faith and character. Even things we’re waiting on are growing us into more Christ-like people.

Spiritual growth is not without pain and suffering. As our scripture states above, we may feel like we are wasting away outwardly, physically. But inwardly, spiritually, we are being renewed each day, maybe even each moment depending on what we are going through. I know I’ve been through situations that just making it through the hour, much less the entire day, was stretching my faith to its limits!

No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13 (MSG)

God doesn’t put more on us than we can bear. He isn’t going to allow us to go through something that He hasn’t already prepared us for. That means this situation, this season of life, may be new to me but God knew it was coming. In this process He’s peeling off a layer of deadness, as it were. God is taking the old me that I know, the old life I’m comfortable with, the old habits that I cling to and making them new. He’s making me new, making life new, making today new!

We are still alive because
the Lord’s faithful love never ends.
Every morning He shows it in new ways!
You are so very true and loyal! ~ Lamentations 3:22-23 (ERV)

Enjoy Danny Gokey’s recent release. See today is a New Day!

 

 

DON’T LOSE HEART

The third Friday of each month in 2019 we are studying my favorite life verses: 2 Corinthians 4:15-18. This section of Scripture has proven a solid source of faith for me through many challenges over the past fifteen years. As we work our way through this passage of verses you’ll see it build on the previous phrases all the way to the end.

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.

 

Stretched Faith.

Sometimes life gets tough as we press into the destiny that God has called us to. Our faith gets stretched to limits we’ve never experienced. We may find ourselves questioning God’s plan and purpose. We may even begin to doubt that God is with us because He seems so distant.

Count trials as joy.

Count it all joy when you fall into various trials,  knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. ~ James 1:2-3

Scripture encourages us to count our trials as joy before us as we follow in Christ steps of suffering. And we can count on God’s joy to strengthen us for our journey. Math is Jesus’ Kingdom is unlike that of the world:

When the world counts troubles:  BAD + BAD = WORSE.

In Jesus’s Kingdom:  BAD + BAD = JOY

 

The author of Hebrews calls us to keep our eyes on Jesus and to follow His example.  As He endured the cross, He focused on the joy of the coming Kingdom rather than the suffering He was experiencing. So too, can we. As we keep our eyes on Christ and the joy before us in His Kingdom we will be less likely to lose heart during our trials and struggles.

We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection. His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God! ~ Hebrews 12:2 

Prayer guards our heart.

In Luke 18:1 Jesus tells we are always to pray and not lose heart. Meaning that prayer encourages steadfastness in our spirit and guards our soul against disheartedness while we are waiting on God to answer us.

Trust The King

There will always be opportunities to lose heart and be disappointed. People will let us down. We will even let ourselves down. But with Jesus the King of our heart we can’t lose! No matter how things look today we can trust that God will never let us down!

Contemplate on Jesus being the King of Your Heart today as you watch/listen to this beautiful Bethel Worship song.

All Scripture quoted in this article are from  The Passion Translation (TPT).

The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
Used by permission. All rights reserved. thePassionTranslation.com

THANKSGIVING OVERFLOWING

The third Friday of each month in 2019 we are studying my favorite life verses: 2 Corinthians 4:15-18. This section of Scripture has proven a solid source of faith for me through many challenges over the last decade. As we work our way through this passage of verses you’ll see it build on the previous phrases all the way to the end.

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.

 

Someone is always watching.

Depending on how we walk out the different seasons in our life will determine how others see God. If we’re always stressed out and worried, the people around us are not going to think too highly of the God that we worship.

Keep your head and heart high.

If we walk out a challenging time with our head held high, with a smile on our face and a good attitude in our heart, trusting that God is going to provide our needs as they come up, then those around us will believe that our faith is genuine and that God is real.

Share God’s Grace.

As we experience God’s grace and share this outpouring with others they will know that He is the only one who could have brought the breakthroughs about. Just as the portion of our verse for today says, we will see thanksgiving overflow to God’s glory.

Allow thanksgiving to overflow from your life!

When our lives declare the love that God has spoken over us God is lifted up. When God is getting glory for something in our life, no matter what brought it about, it’s all worthwhile! Live grateful, watch God be glorified and see others give thanks to God on your behalf.

Contemplate gratefulness with ElevationWorship’s video.