since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “i believed, and so i spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak,  knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.  for it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
 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 4:13-18)
“i believed, and so I spoke” is a quote from psalm 116. this psalm stands as an example of exactly what paul is expressing through these verses in 2 corinthians. it aligns so beautifully to what paul writes.
the psalmist cries out to the lord as they “suffered distress and anguish” (psalm 116:3). likewise paul wrote we are afflicted, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down (2 cor 4:8-9).
continuing in verses 5-9 the psalmist proceeds to proclaim who the lord is, “gracious… merciful… deliverer.” and then, we see the work of the Holy Spirit, “i believed, indeed I spoke.” this faith in God leads the psalmist to speak out, to bring his pain to the Lord who is listening. similarly paul says we speak out as well, because of what we have faith in, who we believe in.
the psalmist continues on to speak out of the “cup of salvation” (psalm 116:13). paul explains because “we know that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also,” both have faith in the true salvation that comes through the Lord.
in verse 15, paul shares his hope and his heart that grace may “extend to more and more people.” just as the psalmist turns to thanksgiving through sacrifice, paul calls us to thanksgiving in the witness of more people believing.
through this beautiful exhortation of psalm 116, paul emphasizes the importance of dependence upon the Holy Spirit through faith and shows how in this faith “we do not loose heart.” there is a hope of resurrection, a spread of grace, and the truth that God will be greatly glorified. though we outwardly are wasting away, we have hope of renewal. though we are afflicted, we are being prepared for glory. our earthly afflictions for his name are always working out our heavenly glory!
so my question for you is which way are you looking? are you looking to the seen and transient things of this world? or do you look to the things that are unseen, the eternal, the hope of resurrection with Jesus?
i for one long to look to the eternal glory, but those light momentary afflictions steal my sight. not only for a moment but they can consume my whole self. oh body, i pray for you and for myself that we can have the right perspective. the perspective of the psalmist in psalm 116, “precious is the sight of the Lord!”
i encourage you to read psalm 116 for yourself, read it alongside 2 cor 4:7-18. pray through the psalm. oh, plead with God our father for eternal eyes.
~ holly russell