Re-Arranging Our Focus
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”
2 Corinthians 4:16 (NIV)
As we get older we notice that our physical bodies aren’t what they once were. We realise that we can’t do in our 50’s, 60’s and 70’s what we could in our teenage years and early 20’s. We get aches and pains; we get out of breath all too easily and begin to find that parts of our body don’t work in the way they used to. When our physical bodies begin to break down, or as Paul said ‘waste away’, it’s easy to focus on that pain, and in the process lose heart and feel like giving up.
This is especially true when more serious things occur in our lives like the scourge of cancer. It can just make us want to quit. In such circumstances there are no simple or glib answers, but Paul does point us in the direction of hope. Even though we may be decaying physically, spiritually we can be renewed and strengthened through the Holy Spirit.
Paul is asking us to change our focus from the physical, which will not last, to the spiritual, which is permanent. That’s not easy to do when you are suffering in pain, which is why we need power of the Spirit. Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians, and for us, is “…that out of [the Father’s] glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith…” (Ephesians 3:16-17).
As Christ makes his home in our hearts, becoming the centre of our being and the reason for our living, our focus can gradually shift from the physical to the spiritual. No matter what happens to us in this life, we have the assurance of eternal life, when all suffering will end and all sorrow will flee away.
We can be strengthened and renewed by the wonderful vision of Revelation 21:1-4, “Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’”
We will be with God forever, where there will be no more pain, no more death, no more crying, no more wasting away. Don’t let the intensity of today’s pain take away your focus from Christ and the wonderful future he has in store for us.
Father, please strengthen me through your Spirit so that my focus will always be on Christ and his kingdom.
Study by Barry Robinson
About the Author:
Barry Robinson is an Elder in and pastoral worker in the Greater London area, particularly the Camberwell and North London congregations of the Worldwide Church of God UK.
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