Living in Gospel Community Living for Things Unseen

November 21, 2021 | Matt Reagan

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 - God is the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort - the point of the letter is to be comforted by Him in afflictions (all afflictions).

“the look on his face and the tone of his voice.” - P.D. Tripp
• If God offers comfort, we need not look for it elsewhere.

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”  2 Corinthians 4:16-18

What are Paul and his crew tempted to lose heart (faint) in doing?

• vs. 13 - “...we also believe, and so we also speak…”
• Ch. 2, vs. 14-16 - spreading the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ everywhere.

Why don’t they lose heart?

1. Because God mercifully gave them this ministry - vs. 1

• It’s too good. - Ch. 3, vs. 12
• It’s working. - vs. 14-15

2. Because their inner self is being renewed day by day

• Outer self is wasting away
     - Aging?- vs. 8-12

• It is being renewed by the hope of eternal glory.

     - Their afflictions prepare this glory for them. Romans 8:18
          º They consider the afflictions light and momentary.    

     - “PIPPIN: I didn't think it would end this way.
GANDALF: End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it.
PIPPIN: What? Gandalf? See what?
GANDALF: White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.
PIPPIN: Well, that isn't so bad.
GANDALF: No. No, it isn't.”

     - “It is written that we shall 'stand before' Him, shall appear, shall be inspected. The promise of glory is the promise, almost incredible and only possible by the work of Christ, that some of us, that any of us who really chooses, shall actually survive that examination, shall find approval, shall please God. To please be a real ingredient in the divine be loved by God, not merely pitied, but delighted in as an artist delights in his work or a father in a son—it seems impossible, a weight or burden of glory which our thoughts can hardly sustain. But so it is.”  C.S. Lewis, “The Weight of Glory”

- This is REAL. - morning by morning

What are the things that are seen that we do not look to?

1. The physical body/health.
2. Social status.

Practical application questions:

1. How will you focus on unseen things tomorrow?
2. With whom will you riskily speak this week?

For discussion:

1. What truths consistently renew your inner self?
2. What afflictions do you currently carry? Do you consider them light and momentary? How do you bring them to the God of all comfort?
3. How would your life change if you more fully embraced the reality of the unseen?
4. Are we called to speak with Paul’s boldness? His consistency? Why or why not?