In II Corinthians 5:6-7, Paul said something pretty amazing. He wrote, "So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. For we live by faith and not by sight."
I heard these verses in a message recently and the words that stuck out to me were "always confident." I've heard verse 7 "we walk by faith and not by sight" over and over again. I've even quoted it many times, but, if I'm honest, I have struggled to have confidence. Instead of "always confident" I find myself using other words to describe myself like, "always doubting", or "always afraid", or "always questioning", or "always confused".
When I read these verses in context with everything else that Paul wrote, I began to understand how Paul was able to be confident. In the verses preceding 6-7 Paul talks about the hope we can have in the future as a believer in Jesus. Check out II Corinthians 5:1-5. Paul describes a new home, a new body, and "better days ahead". In verses 4-5 he tells specifically how he was able to be confident in the midst of the struggle. Take a minute and DIG into this thought, "While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it's not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit."
You see, Paul groaned and sighed too, just like we all do, but his attitude and thoughts had been transformed (Romans 12:2). He recognized why he was groaning. He dug deeper to see the real desire of his soul. He understood that his dying body, filled naturally with doubt and fear, was in the process of being "swallowed up by LIFE" and transformed. God's presence IN HIM, the Holy Spirit, was guaranteeing him that things were getting better with each step he took BY FAITH toward the promise of a new day in the future! Do you see it?
It's ok to groan. It's ok to be sad. It's ok to acknowledge pain & struggle. We just have to recognize, as Paul did, that our groans and sighs come from a deep place in our souls too. A place that knows this isn't the way it was meant to be! As the Holy Spirit awakens us to that truth, as ONLY He can do, we can then begin to walk, stumble, and even crawl at times, BY FAITH, toward what is ahead with confidence that what Jesus said in John 16:33 is true. "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
Yep, Better Days Really Are Ahead! In fact, they are already here. As we choose to keep moving forward in faith and obedience, with Spirit filled Confidence, our Father will open doors that cannot be closed and close doors that cannot be opened (Isa. 22:22. Rev. 3:8) leading us into His perfect will & plans He has prepared in advance for us. (Eph. 2:10)
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