“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 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 4:16-18
What is a good day? What is a successful effort? I know what I feel like the difference between failure or success is in my own estimation. I know that most of us involved in the work of the Lord have an idea of what we think these things are as well. Often it seems that when circumstances in our life are not as we expected, as we hoped, we become discouraged or even embittered. I have to confess that far too often I judge a day or an effort based on “the things which are seen” that Paul writes of in 2 Corinthians 4.
I think that many of our nights of despair or seasons of doubt in life aren’t the direct result of our circumstances, but are the result of the way in which we respond to them. In fact, the way that we respond to the circumstances is determined by how we view them. They are the things which are seen; temporal; passing. The Lord brought to my recollection, though, some things about the stoning of a great servant of the Lord, Stephen. He died testifying to the power of Jesus and was given a glimpse of the Lord with Whom he would be in glory just after his stoning. While Stephen died so horribly, Saul of Tarsus was watching. The things to be seen on that day were awful things, things which I would not want to see, much less experience myself…but they were only temporal, passing things.
The same Jesus who was visible to Stephen as he was being stoned to death was later seen by that same Saul on the road to Damascus. The grace of Jesus Christ won over Saul’s hateful and injurious heart. I’m sure that the disciples thought that the day of Stephen’s death (overseen by Saul) was a very bad day. Many of those same disciples that heard of Saul’s conversion afterwards did not know what to make of him and even rejected him. Little did they know that God had chosen Saul (Paul) to be a mighty witness for Christ.
We don’t know everything that God is doing today. Truthfully, we have very little idea what He may have done yesterday or last week. We do know, however, that He is sovereign and that His Word will not return to Him void. God help us to be faithful and to trust Him, for “Jesus doeth all things well.”
A Good Day or a Bad Day?