For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen:
for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 KJV
What are your eyes fixed upon—the seen or the unseen, the trouble or the glory? The Apostle Paul does not literally mean we should “fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen.” That would be, obviously, impossible. What he means is that we should direct our lives toward a goal which cannot be seen. What goal is that? The goal is the complete fulfillment of our salvation. The goal is to become legal residents of the New Jerusalem and the Kingdom of God that shall be fully revealed in the future. This includes the mansion Jesus is preparing for us in his Father’s house (John 14:2), which is itself located in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:2-3). All this is the priceless inheritance which is now being kept in heaven for us (I Peter 1:4), but shall one day descend to earth (Revelation 21:2). These things cannot be seen now, but one day we will see them and they shall last forever.
Our lives should be directed to this goal and, as a consequence, we should not “look at the troubles we can see now.” Obviously, if we see them we have looked at them. What Paul means is that we should not pay them so much attention that we allow them to keep our lives from being directed toward the goal that “vastly outweighs them.” These temporary troubles have been designed by the enemy to keep us from the goal. Although at present they seem large, in comparison to the eternal goal, they are small. We should not direct our lives toward the alleviation of these troubles at the expense of our eternal reward.
When you are troubled by the troubles you are going through, remember what they are doing for you. They are producing the glory of the future goal. You cannot see it yet, but your inheritance in heaven has been increasing in glory.
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