I follow a variety of blogs to keep up on what’s going on in the world, and one of them is the Lifeway Research blog, headed by a man named Ed Stetzer, who has written multiple books on missions and on church health. He always has interesting observations about what’s going on in the body of Christ. Today I read an article entitled “Slow Economy Continues to Weigh on Churches and Pastors“, about how church giving has been down for a couple years, and is only slowly recovering. I have felt the effects of the economy in my job, and have even had friends who worked with me lose theirs because of the economy. Today I also read an article from World Magazine about the effects of the drought, and how things will be getting worse in the near future as we undergo the fallout from that. Many are facing very serious questions about how they’ll survive this misfortune. Uncertainty about money is always a very unsettling feeling, whether corporately or personally. It causes feelings of anxiety like few other things can.
That’s why I was struck by the encouragement of 2 Corinthians 4:16-18:
Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Paul was a man who had lived through many seasons of uncertainty in his life. He understood what it was like. I think if he were writing today he would tell us that the uncertainty we feel in considering the economy and the drought is real, but he would also emphasize that both situations are very temporary. There’s nothing about them that will be forever (even in this life, let alone in eternity). That is a tremendous encouragement to me. I’m trying to keep my eyes on the “absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory”, which will be worth anything I’m called to undergo here on earth. It’s hard to remember when hard-pressed by the day-to-day struggles of life, but it is vital to keeping a healthy perspective on life.