Friday, February 4, 2022

Formed By the Word: Week 4 ~ Perspective: Eternal Eyesight


Week 4 ~ Perspective: Eternal Eyesight

Today is the final part in a series of Words challenge posts looking at Chapters 3-5 of 2 Corinthians. These chapters contain a lot of "perspective" words. Words such as seen/unseen, light, reveal, veiled/unveiled, display, show, reflect, sight, see, look, eteranl/temporary, blinded, regard, view, eyes. Paul's theology in his letters is that the right perspective is God's perspective. In these chapters in 2 Corinthians he shows that godly perspective impacts how we live, how we see others, how we view trials and suffering and the circumstances of life, and how we view eternity. So we will break these down and dig into them:

  • Week One ~ Perspective: Behold Christ.
  • Week Two ~ Perspective: Eyes Wide Open
  • Week Three ~ Perspective: Godly Perception
  • Week Four ~ Perspective: Eternal Eyesight

Eternal Eyesight

The last thing I noticed about having God’s perspective in chapters 3-5 of 2 Corinthians is that with His help we grow to see suffering and trials and the circumstances of life from His point of view. With our eyes focused on the “eternal glory” that far outweighs anything we experience in this life (4:17), we are able to “live [walk] by faith, not by sight” (5:7). We can recognize that the bodies we live in and the lives we live are simply God’s treasure in frail clay jars meant to reveal His glory and power (4:7). The trials and suffering, despair, and persecution, all help to build our faith in God and reveal the death and resurrection life of Jesus in us (4:8-11). These things enable others to see Jesus in us! God’s eternal perspective enables us to be renewed inwardly day by day, because in view of eternity they are “light and momentary”. “So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen [the trials, the suffering and despair, the circumstances of life] but on what is unseen [the eternal glory of God] since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (4:16-18). Eternal eyesight keeps us from “losing heart”, from giving into doubt and fear, because we know Whose we are and what His purpose is for those who are in Christ. “We know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to Himself” (4:14). We have an eternal house in heaven (5:1) and “the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come” (5:5).

So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body [in this present age] or away from it [in the age to come – eternity]. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done in the body [in this present age], whether good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:9-10

Eternal eyesight keeps us from losing heartit produces endurance.

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Finally, when we can see trials and suffering and the circumstances of life as God does, we will see these things as opportunities. God uses what we go through so that we, like Him, have compassion on others, and we, then, comfort them as we ourselves have received comfort from God. Most likely the comfort God gives came about through other people He used to bring us His comfort. God's purposes serve to enable us to praise Him and focus on and serve others. We reach back to the first chapter of 2 Corinthians to see this.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort." 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

A few months ago I did the page below, but it fits with today's study as well.

In being formed by the Word of God we gain God's perspective. We see Him clearly as we behold Christ through the Gospel. As we grow in Christlikeness our eyes are wide open to see ourselves as God's ministers, living godly lives. We gain Godly perception to see others, believers and unbelievers, as He does, through the lens of the Gospel. And we grow in the ability to see suffering, trials, and the curcumstances of life clearly with eternal eyesight

Thank you for joining me as I have explored and dug into these perspective words in 2 Corinthians chapters 3-5.

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I would love to have you to join me in being formed by the Word this year. After reading the above post, do some study on your own. Dig deeper into the verses and passages mentioned and then respond creatively. Share your thoughts and creative responses in the comment section below or on social media with #formedby theword and #wordsartandfaithgroup, and in our private Facebook group for words challenges the Words Art and Faith group.

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