Devotions from the Word in celebration of the 60th Anniversary of Granada Heights Friends Church.
The following is an excerpt from the devotional book. Books are available for purchase in the church office.
NEVER GIVE UP
by Lois Thorpe Cox
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
It’s easy for me to read this
passage and forget to look at the verses before the "That is why...". We
know that good biblical interpretation requires us to look at the context,
which is the same thing that I teach my students who are learning English. The context just prior to the passage above
is 2 Corinthians 4:14-15:
We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.
We never give up (lose heart, become discouraged) because:
God raised Jesus from death to life.
God will raise us from death to life.
God will bring us and all the saints together to Himself.
God’s grace will reach people.
There will be great thanksgiving.
God will receive glory.
As we age we feel the wearing down of our bodies (our bodies are dying). However, we don’t always sense that our spirits are being renewed. Maybe that’s because we’re focusing on our present troubles: the leaky faucets, the cost of car repairs, children’s sickness, or broken relationships. I am easily overwhelmed by these kinds of things, especially when something is out of my control. I like to be in control.
Then I come back to this passage and remember that these things are growing me into Christ-likeness. Learning to repair a faucet myself or asking someone for help is humbling and teaches me to be less independent (more dependent on God and others). So I pray, God, teach me to depend on others and also to depend on you. Having a car is something I would gladly give up, but that is the cost of living in Southern California. Thank you, God, for giving me a good car. My nieces are sick, and there is nothing I can do to help them. Thank you, God, for putting these children in my life.
How do I fix my gaze unwaveringly on the eternal? Daily. Every day. I wake up and need to thank God again for what He has given. Riches beyond belief. If He has given me this much already, how much greater will eternity be? God, give me courage and wholeheartedness and perseverance to live out these days anchored in the awareness that you will be known and receive the glory.
These are words that I want to say at the end of my life that I lived by.
1. How do you keep your eyes focused on the eternal in the midst of the everyday activities that you are involved in? Ask the Spirit to prompt you to see what he is doing around you.
2. How can you find ways to thank God when it seems easier not
to? Ask the Spirit to help you keep an eternal perspective on what is happening
in your life.