I like to listen to pastor J.D. Greear. During one of his sermons, he gave an illustration of a man who won the lotto and received a multi-million-dollar check. Immediately he got in his car and started driving to the bank to cash the check. On his way there, his car gets a flat tire. He then asked, “Do you think the man here threw a fit and got mad at his current situation?” Of course not, because he was on the way to go cash a check that would change his life forever. His current situation did not affect him as much in light of what he was going to get. This is an illustration of our spiritual life, and what Paul talks about here in 2 Corinthians chapter 4.
Throughout these verses, Paul gives circumstances that may affect us, persecution, affliction, being struck down, and all sorts of despair. He talks about all these things that will affect us in this world but gives us some incredible encouragement at the end of these verses that tie to my opening illustration. Paul begins verse 16, saying, “So we do not lose heart.” After describing to his readers what we are going to face as followers of Christ, he gives us the assurance that we can find in God.
If you have surrendered to Jesus, and accepted His free gift of grace and called Him your Lord and Savior, then we look to the things unseen. Paul says that the light, momentary, affliction that we face in this life is nothing in comparison to the glory that we will receive when we come into His kingdom and stand face to face with the God of the universe. We cannot escape the troubles of this life, due to our sin we live in a fallen, broken world. Suffering is inevitable, it is real and affects all of us. We face troubles big and small and go through hardships that feel like they are never-ending. However, these do not define us, they do not control our lives.
As followers of Christ, we do not seek the things of this world for hope. It is not found in job security, health, or wealth. Our hope is found in Christ, He has finished the work, and when this life is over we will be with Him in Heaven for all of eternity. So just like the man who did not allow his flat tire to make him lose sight on what he was going to get when he cashed his check, we also do not allow the troubles of this world to take our eyes off of the eternal glory that we will receive one day.