2 Corinthians 4:16-18


**2 Corinthians 4:16-18 **

*16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 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.

The physical body is in the process of decay and will eventually die. On the surface, Paul was referring to the normal aging process, but with the added emphasis that his lifestyle sped up that process. While not an old man, Paul wore himself out in ministry, both in the effort and pace he maintained, plus the number of beatings and attacks he absorbed from his enemies** (reference 2 Corinthians 6:4-10)**. The inner self is the soul of every believer i.e. the new creation, the eternal part of the believer (reference Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10), which is being renewed. Being renewed is the growth and maturing process of the believer which constantly occurs. While the physical body is decaying, the inner self of the believer continues to grow and mature into Christlikeness (reference Ephesians 3:16-20).

The Greek word for “light” means “a weightless trifle” and “affliction” refers to intense pressure. From a human perspective, Paul’s own testimony lists a seemingly unbearable litany of sufferings and persecutions he endured throughout his life (reference 2 Corinthians 11:23-33). Yet, he viewed them as weightless and lasting for only a brief moment. Regarding “eternal weight of glory,” the Greek word for “weight” refers to a heavy mass. For Paul, the future glory he would experience with the Lord far outweighed any suffering he experienced in this world (reference Romans 8:17-18; 1 Peter 1:6-7). Paul understood that the greater the suffering, the greater would be his eternal glory (reference 1 Peter 4:13).

Endurance is based on a person’s ability to look beyond the physical to the spiritual, beyond the present to the future, and beyond the visible to the invisible. Believers must look past what is temporary-what is perishing (i.e., the things of the world)…Pursuing God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the souls of men should consume the believer.