My daughter Lucy is extremely perceptive. When she was two years old, I worked a very high-stress, high-stakes executive job and sometimes on the rough days despite all my attempts to maintain a laid-back and relaxed evening for her, she still noticed. One night she looked at me and said, “It’s going to be fine, Momma because you have Jesus inside you.”
My heart was so convicted that night. Paul describes his earthly troubles which included severe physical persecution, far worse troubles than my own, as “momentary light afflictions”, which was conviction to my soul all by itself. He writes of his troubles: “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.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). He also writes in Romans, “The sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18).
How right my tiny girl was – reminding me to look at the things unseen instead of the things seen. She was reminding me that nothing we go through in this life is worth comparing to the glory and the triumph that is to come because of the price Jesus paid for us. My perspective changed that day so very drastically. Until then, my joy depended on what happened to me. It depended on my circumstances. It depended on my momentary light afflictions. You will never have true lasting joy or contentment until you set your eyes on the things above. When I shift my focus from the temporary to the eternal, from things behind to things ahead, from this broken world around me to Christ within me, everything changes.
Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily as for the Lord and not for men.” When our focus is on Christ and we are glorifying Him in all the ordinary, day-to-day things, those things do not seem so stressful anymore. Many things we once considered an affliction will now be an act of worship. When the Lord shapes and changes us, there are many times that the changes come from simply focusing on Him. The hard work on our part lies in us pulling our focus from our own discontentment and circumstances and placing them on Him instead.
Daily now, I pray for a Godly perspective. We cannot in our own flesh view any of our problems, large or small, as momentary light afflictions. In the radiance of His presence, though, that is the very most a problem could ever be. When our focus is on Christ, our lives themselves will evangelize. What we speak and how we react and the choices we make will reflect Christ in us. When we keep our eyes on Him, the things of this world grow dim in His glory.