Nobody said life was easy.
And neither did Paul. He was a man who had been stoned, shipwrecked, persecuted, imprisoned, and even more.
What could keep a person going in the face of all these trials? The hope that he had.
Paul had told the Corinthians earlier in this chapter,
Now if there is no resurrection…why do we endanger ourselves every hour? I die every day–I mean that, brothers–just as surely as I glory over you in Christ Jesus our Lord. If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” (29-32)
But there is a resurrection. And after talking of the hope he had, that one day we will be changed, raised imperishable, and immortal, Paul exhorts us,
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (58)
There is so much in this world that can shake us. Our troubles, our trials, our worries. And they may cause us to think that it isn’t worth it anymore to keep living as a Christian. To keep serving the Lord.
But Paul encourages us not to let the storms of life move us. To keep doing the things God has called us to do. Why? Because in the end, we will find that it was all worth it. And one day, we’ll look into the face of Christ, and he will say to us with a smile, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
And on seeing his face, all that we went through will be revealed for what they truly are: “light and momentary troubles” which are far exceeded and outweighed by the glory that awaits us.
I love how the Living Bible put it in Psalm 17:15.
When I awake in heaven, I will be fully satisfied, for I will see you face-to-face.
So if you’re discouraged, if you are feeling down because of what you are suffering through, if you feel like you’re losing hope, then as the old song goes,
Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full in his wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of his glory and grace.