Groan with Good Courage

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

“For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling… So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:2,6-9

And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” Romans 8:23-25

A big birthday or anniversary; the passing of a loved one and with him, a generation; a new debility, or pain; downsizing, saying good-bye, closing a door, letting go– There are many events in our lives that notch our minds with an indelible memory and a sense of turning, that call upon our faith to put into perspective the meaning for the present and vision for forward. Though we groan, we are not alone. For this we were made, with eternity in our hearts and a longing for true shalom, peace, and home. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

Today we hear, and may contribute to, much groaning. It is certainly not a new phenomenon for humankind to grumble about circumstances, but Jesus came to transform and invigorate our groaning to a yearning for what was meant and is to be. In this life that we live by faith in that life, we can invest our energy into living for the One who died to make it possible. He gives good courage to spend ourselves for the sake of His kingdom, that many will know the hope to which He calls us. (Exodus 16:2; Numbers 14:2Ephesians 1:16-18; 2 Corinthians 5:15,18)

Where are we focused, and what do we groan about? If we wallow in feelings and make ourselves the center of life, our groaning will poison our outlook and make miserable those around us. Would we not instead, with hope for eternity, courageously and zealously engage all we are to please our Lord and honor Him before others?

Father, may I live to proclaim Your sure promises. May my groaning for glory in this life stir hope for the next. Keep me fully convinced, by faith, that You are able to fulfill, now and in the future, all Your word. (Romans 4:20-21)

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