Read 2 Corinthians 4: 7 – 18
When we face trials in our lives, we can do one of two things. We can either become self-absorbed with our problems and say, “Look at how tough things are!” Or we can keep our eyes on Jesus and say, “This is only temporary.” The apostle Paul was able to focus on the temporary nature of his problems because he accepted five important facts:
1. Our bodies are weak and mortal.
Paul wasn’t the type to be caught up in his bodily aches and pains. He didn’t strive for the perfect body or the perfect image because he knew his body was a ‘perishable container.’ The Bible does not teach that we should neglect our bodies, but it does say that spiritual exercise is more important and beneficial (see 1 Timothy 4:8).
2. God’s Power is Displayed in Our Weakness.
If we become overly obsessed with ourselves, we will never give God the chance to work through our lives. Paul recognized that God’s glory shines through our weakness.
3. God does not Abandon Us.
Even though we may be ‘crushed’ and ‘perplexed,’ we have the hope that God will protect and strengthen us through these trials.
4. Trials can be Witnessing Opportunities.
When people see the inner strength we have i Christ, they will take notice. This is well illustrated in the story of Paul and Silas, who were put in prison for preaching the gospel (see Acts 16: 16-36). Though they had been whipped and had their legs clamped in stocks in a damp, dark dungeon, they began to pray and worship the Lord in song. In an unusual string of events, these men were able to lead their jailer, as well as his entire family, to the Lord.
Paul and Silas’s godly attitude, which enabled them to rejoice in such a time of trouble, prepared the soil of this man’s heart, opening him up to the gospel they preached.
5. We have the Hope in Heaven.
These trials are only a momentary blink in time compared to the eternal joys and blessings of heaven.