Where the Light Shines Through

Vulnerability is never an easy thing.
Even the thought of it is enough to make me cringe.
But I truly believe that “From Him, to Him, and through Him are all things.” (Romans 11:36). I truly believe that I can not know the mind of God and I know that His ways are not my ways.  So when God creates sensitive places in  your life, when there are scars from past relationships, abuses, neglect, even abandonment, those scary places from the past are exactly where our loving Father is calling us to go.

God is calling us to go to where our deepest wounds exists;
And your calling exist within your deepest wounds.

Your name is graven on His hands.
The very hands that were pierced for our transgressions.
The very hands that paid the price for the wounds we feel.
He understands woundedness.

We serve God…the author and perfecter of our faith.
He is writing our stories… and your past failure may lead to someone’s present victory.

Let’s take steps together toward vulnerability.
We’ll see we’re not that much different.
Don’t be selfish with the story God has written in your life.
It may be the only light of hope someone desperately needs to see.

The Paradox of Pain

In this world, there is a great paradox that exist within the pain we experience.

The paradox  is this:
Though you hurt something good will come from it.

Would it be possible to experience the fullness of joy
without the tyranny of misery?
Would we know peace without tribulation? 

Hope without despair?
Acceptance without rejection?
Adoption without abandonment?

Love without heartbreak?
(and the list could be a mile long)

I’ve been more convinced than ever that the pain we experience exists to give us a greater appreciation for the good things that are to come or may even already be present. I believe that God uses the very pain we experience to draw us to himself. The enemy has hijacked pain to distract us from seeing the good things that Jesus has done and is actively doing in our lives.

I don’t know that I would have ever know the value of God’s unfailing love had he not broken down my perception/perversion of love that was only self-serving and not self-sacrificing. When He made me come face to face with the misery of failure, he was placing in me a scale in which I would begin to notice what love truly is. I wonder how many of you have that same exact story, and how many of you are on the brink of knowing this truth.

The Great Perspective Changer

Painful experiences have a way of placing us in an alternate reality. One in which hope seems unobtainable. It has the habit of minimizing all the good things that God is doing in our lives. There is however beauty within the sorrow.

When we change our perspective on pain and place our eyes back on the cross and boldly approach the throne of God in times of need, it opens us up to know and enjoy God in a way that prosperity may have never allowed us to do.

It opens the door to more clarity.

Since we live in a world that operates in pairs (think sweet vs. salty, light vs. dark, you get the point) the fact that God doesn’t only pour out blessings on us is a blessing in of its self. In this world, in order to fully experience the joys of life we must experience some of its pitfalls. There is no reason to fall into despair when you do. Use painful experiences as an opportunity to shift your perspective from temporal to eternal. From the here and now to Eternity.

We have to come together and fight against the voice of the enemy that says “you are worthless, you are the only one who struggles…” It’s a lie. Though the enemy wants to place you in an alternate reality where it is nearly impossibly to sees pain as a hidden blessing, we have to fight against this and worship through the sorrow. We have to encourage one another to remember the bigger picture that’s taking place.

So, despondent Christian, when you feel like the world is falling down around you when you find it easier to despair than praise, never forget these truths:

There is ALWAYS a bigger picture taking place.
Your destiny is greater than your past mistakes.
Keep pursing Jesus. He is producing in you an eternal weight of Glory. He is calling you to Himself. Worship through the pain. Cling to what is eternal.

I’m incredibly humbled and thankful that our loving Father refines us on this fallen earth. It makes the flip side of that coin, joy, so much sweeter. And what a glorious day it will be when we worship Him face to face and sorrow will be no more!


Scripture to Consider:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
-Romans 15:13 

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
-James 1:2-4

…we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
-Romans 5:3-5

Divorce and the Holiness of God

For freedom Christ has set us free;
stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1

Everyone experiences God in different ways. Some come to Him through addiction, some come through financial difficulties; Some come through a natural born faith. More than likely, if you follow Jesus, you have faced some form of difficulty that drew you to Him. My story isn’t different from that at all.

I’ve struggled with identity my entire life. Because of that countless relationships and friendships have failed. When you are void of definition, anything the wind blows your way can and will become your god. I was a sinful man prone to despair and despondency, and when you are in a despondent state, hope is a very hard thing to see. You desire to cling to it with all your might, but the energy doesn’t exist. Hope seems fleeting, and shame puts you into the mindset that you are no longer worthy of grace. That you are not worthy of hope.That’s a huge part of my story.

I don’t know what happened in my life to pull me away from Jesus, but I do know this…He is not satisfied when His children stray away.

Before Jesus redeemed me, I lived in fear. I was a very angry, anxious, and depressed person. My version of pursuing Jesus was the pursuit of intellectualism under the veil of Christianity. But faith in Christ and love were far removed from this.

Somewhere down this path shame and anger became my identity. They were two great wrecking balls in my life and they were the veil that I wore for a very long time. Growing up, when I was submissive to the teachings of Jesus, the veil of shame wasn’t so heavy, but when I began to wander away like the sheep describe in Luke 15, It became more than I could handle.

Because of this I had the tendency to fall into despair very quickly. I ran from God because I was too ashamed to admit I had issues. I ran from other believers too. Church became very offensive and I would do anything to stay away and not be confronted with my sin. The further I strayed away from God, the more roots of shame took over my life in most every way imaginable.

I was a miserable man incapable of feeling joy. I had uncontrollable anger issues and fell into depression at the drop of a hat.I had no hope that I could ever be saved, but Jesus in His great love and mercy had other plans.

My wandering state cost me every relationship and even lead to a failed marriage. I wasn’t innocent in the failure, in fact it was largely my fault. but God has a way of working through our failures to get our attention. I’ll never pretend to understand why he chose to use this method to do so. But I do know this. I was lost. I was defined by cycles of anger, malice, hate,fear, anxiety, and depression,
But God, in His great love and mercy redeemed me.

On the second night after my marriage fell apart, the Holy Spirit began to speak life into me. I laid in my bed, too exhausted to move, too depressed to sleep, and even too tired to get up to throw up. I was lonely, scared, and broken. My sin destroyed this sacred calling. My bible stayed with me that night and ever so slightly at the urging of the spirit I could hear him telling me “Just open it. Trust me. Read it.” At this point it had been many months since I opened the word of God, but didn’t know what else to do. So submitting to the Spirit for the first time in a long time, I opened it up and began to read.

I was immediately lead to 1 Corinthians 13.
This is what it says:

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith,so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

My misery began with the pursuit of the knowledge of God while I neglected His love. I was a bitter and jaded person incapable of loving anyone or accepting love. I was so controlled by my anger that it dulled every good emotion until I was consumed with self hate.

God revealed the depth of my sin in that moment. He showed me though I spoke like His child and even understood complexities of the faith, I didn’t know how to love or what love was.

Over the next year God took away a lot of the knowledge I had gained over the past 10 years and replaced it with the fruits of the Spirit. This was a very slow, painful, and surgical process and many days I felt like he was slowly killing me, but all the while His perfect love was casting out fear. He was restoring me. He tore me so that He may heal me. He struck me down and he bound me up. (Hosea 6:1)

He was the one removing deeply rooted sin in my life that I tried so many times to remove myself and failed miserably. He was removing the veil of failure and shame that was my identity, and restoring to me the joy of Salvation (Psalm 51)

He lead me to Jeremiah 29:11 A very common verse that never carried any weight for me.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

These words brought amazing comfort into my life. Surely the plans God has for me are the same plans he had for Jeremiah. He also lead me to Romans 11:33-36 through the process.

“From Him to Him and Through Him are all things…” became my battle cry. And although the pain of failure hurt, even though separation and abandonment was painful, through those two promises, I knew He was working behind the scenes on something immeasurable.

This isn’t the path I chose. It was chosen for me as a result of my sin, and God redeemed it to reclaim His lost son. Though I didn’t choose this path, I couldn’t imagine not traveling it. It has been a very rough road, but our Father, who is rich in steadfast love and mercy, is the God who redeems.  For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

Because of what Jesus has done in my life, I am now able to stand firm in the freedom that Christ has given and extend the invitation into that freedom to others. I am no longer defined by waves of depression, fear, anger, or anxiety. I am a child of God. I am proof that Christ will set you free.

So friends, When I write about fighting despondency, It comes from the overflow of what God has done in my life. It comes out of the love and mercy that He has shown me. I want you all to know that even in the hardest of trials and darkest of depressions or pinnacle of anxieties, there is always a bigger picture taking place with God.

There is always a master plan, and there are countless second chances given to us at the Cross.

I am thankful for a God who redeems all things. I am thankful that in Him there is no condemnation and that He is working all things out for the good of those who love him and work according to his purpose. I am thankful for the Joy of His Salvation!

I pray that this story is full of hope, because we serve a Holy God who restores the broken and binds up their wounds, and the story is long from over.

 

Future Glory

For the past year in a half God has completely redefined my world.
I’ve never lived with such an utter dependency upon His grace, His Son, and the Word for which we are given to know His will. This dependency wasn’t something that magically happened or popped up over night, It came through suffering.

There were many nights when it was hard to hold onto hope. There were many days I fell into despair and despondency. Fear, anger, and depression defined me, but God has a way of shifting our focus off of self and re-focusing us onto Jesus, where all hope is found.

So, as I write about suffering, it’s not an easy place for me. It’s not an easy place for anyone. But my hope is that you will be encouraged after reading this.

Before Jesus redeemed me, I was like a ship setting out for a journey without a sail. I would be tossed and turned by any wave that happen to come my way. Countless relationships were ruined because of this and I was too ashamed to turn to Jesus, but God in His great love and mercy took compassion on His wandering son.

For the first time in my life I was confronted with the ugliness of my sin. A growing cancer in my soul whispering the lies of the enemy. “worthless…you’ve strayed too far…Jesus doesn’t love you…anger defines you…un-redeemable…” But just as I was confronted with the insanity of my sin, I was confronted by the voice of Jesus calming those winds and waves.

This experience is so incredibly hard to capture in words. At the time I knew He was doing something special, but I didn’t know what. I feel as though, to use producer language, He was writing a new script in my life. He was painting over an old canvas and creating a new image, one that reflects Him. There was a bigger picture taking place behind the suffering I was experiencing.

The Bigger Picture

When any amount of suffering is taking place, it’s incredibly easy to neglect the good that Jesus is doing in your life. It’s incredibly easy to lose hope and see only the temporary circumstance, but there is no reason to fear or give into despondency because there is always a bigger picture taking place

Romans 8 does an incredible job of speaking life into this. There’s a section of it that reads like this:

…I consider the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.. (Rom. 8:18-19)

Paul is letting us in on a big secret here.

Pain produces a peculiar glory,
one of which we may not see until we are with our savior in paradise.

He is introducing a concept called Future Glory. It’s arguably against the American (and millennial) culture of instant gratification.

What future glory begs us to to is to look beyond a temporary circumstance
into the eternal perspective. It invites us to look beyond our temporary suffering into a future in which the circumstance shaped us to be stronger and more fit for Kingdom work.

But that’s easier said than done.

Why is this so hard for us to do, even as followers of Jesus?

Culturally, it is very American to desire instant gratification. We love fast food. We love fast internet. Hate waiting in lines or traffic and love to express every bit of emotion on social media. You are in even more danger of falling for this if you are a Millennial. (because we barely had the chance to know anything different.)

It goes beyond our culture though. Romans was written around 57-58 a.d. and as someone who is reading as a Millennial I feel like Paul is writing this letter to me! The sufferings that the followers of Jesus were facing at that time were much more extreme than anything we face here in the U.S. (we can worship openly without worrying about death) but holistically we still struggle with this when pain hits whether it be physical, spiritual, emotional, or mental.

We have to know that God is working something good through our suffering.

It is inevitable that our peers may not understand why we are able to worship God through hard circumstances, but scripture makes it incredibly clear that we are not defined by a temporary circumstance, or even our response to the said circumstance.

When you look at life through the lens of Scripture,
it changes your perspective on suffering.
You begin to see there is hope found in suffering.

Paul continues to write in Romans 12

 I appeal to you therefore, brothers,by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

This is relevant to many situations we face as believers, but can be applied to how we process suffering.

Don’t give up hope.

Remember Romans 5? There is a cycle of hope behind any suffering.

Suffering produces endurance
Endurance produces character
Character produces hope
Hope does not put us to shame

What the flesh will try to dictate is your suffering is eternal.
It is not. It is temporary.

Shame?
Temporary.
Anxiety?
Temporary.
Fear?
Temporary.

Remember, behind every ounce of suffering is a future glory that is being revealed.
Hold onto hope. Keep pressing hard into Jesus. 


Scripture to consider:

“Through him (Christ) we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Romans 5:2-5 ESV

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


A Helpful Song

 

Is Dating Redeemable?

A few months ago I sat across from Ryan in a smoke filled room, the smell of subs and cookies wafting through the air. I nervously took a drink from my cup and he boldly (as usual) asked
“Well, you called this meeting. Who is she?”
Trying to be self-effacing and a little coy I told him
“Oh Ryan…there’s always SOMEONE… Besides, this is more about preventive maintenance than anything… Now what’s your advice?”
A sheepish grin came across his face as he gave me some solid advice on the ever elusive world of Christian dating.

I wrote Ryan earlier that week asking for advice and trusted counsel.
“When I meet a girl I want to pursue, how to I do that in a Godly manner?”
It boiled down to several items, but the most effective comment he made was “It’s not rocket science. Ask her on a date. Find out what she’s like in the context of community. Over everything else ask yourself; Is this someone I can multiply God’s Kingdom with.”

Is this someone I can multiply God’s Kingdom with? 

That thought had rarely crossed my mind. Countless other failed relationships went through my head as I fell into a state of remembrance.  How many of those relationships could have been saved or avoided had I asked myself that for even a second. (The temptation to feel regret was strong, but through all those relationships, I knew the will of God was being fulfilled in my life.) It really hit home and target a place in my life God has recently been peeling away at. The concept of longing. I don’t think I’ve ever asked myself this question, and I wonder how many of you have asked this question while seeking someone to date.

Is There Hope for the Hopeless Romantic?

I wrote previously on my tendency to be a hopeless romantic. A huge struggle for me over the past…well…since High School has been looking for emotional intimacy in relationships. Looking for someone to cure the brokenness in me. I longed for acceptance, assurance, and affirmation through dating relationships. But this outlook on dating never healed my brokenness, it only gave birth to more. Because of this I never really knew how to pursue or love a woman the way that I should and it ruined many countless relationships, but on a bigger note, I know I’m not alone in this battle.

Brokenness attracts brokenness, but juxtaposed to that is the fact that HOLINESS ATTRACTS HOLINESS. This is where I believe a lot of the stress comes from during the dating phase. We are all looking to be loved. We all have an inkling of the hopeless romantic in us, and we all want someone to do life with, after all, even God himself said “it is not good for man to be alone

But when it comes time to pursue, Men are clueless. and more recently than ever, I believe people in the Church are cluing in on this. They are beginning to see that well intended lovers of Jesus are clueless when it comes to pursuing a woman, or how to react when they themselves are being pursued by a man.

A helpful article came out by Marshall Segal on Desiring God titled When the Not Yet Married Meet. I highly recommend reading this article whether you are single or not. It’s incredibly encouraging content on Christian dating.

One of the best points Segal made went like this:

Look for clarity more than intimacy.

Just to wet your whistle a little bit, here is a snippit from his blog post:

The greatest danger of dating is giving parts of our hearts and lives to someone to whom we’re not married. It is a significant risk, and many, many men and women have deep and lasting wounds from relationships because a couple enjoyed emotional or physical closeness without a lasting, durable commitment. Cheap intimacy feels real for the moment, but you get what you pay for.

While the great prize in marriage is Christ-centered intimacy, the great prize in dating is Christ-centered clarity. Intimacy is safest in the context of marriage, and marriage is safest in the context of clarity. The purpose of our dating is determining whether the two of us should get married, so we should focus our effort there.

In our pursuit of clarity, we will undoubtedly develop intimacy, but we ought not do so too quickly or too naively. Be intentional and outspoken to one another that, as Christians, intimacy before marriage is dangerous, while clarity is unbelievably precious.

It is natural to want to be loved.
It is natural to want to feel valued.
it is natural to seek affirmation.

However, if you are seeking affirmation in a relationship, you are feeding into your broken nature. If we spent more energy pursuing clarity, perhaps we would see less brokenness in Christian dating.

But what does it mean to seek clarity in a dating relationship?
Ryan summed it up very well in the statement he mentioned earlier:

“Is this someone I can multiply God’s Kingdom with?”

If we pursued that thought rather than
“does this person make me feel validated/loved?”
Christian dating would be less broken.

Pursue clarity rather than intimacy. The rest will fall into place.

Single Followers of Jesus, can we begin to make this our goal when we start to pursue romantic relationships with our fellow believers?

Can we work together to redeem dating?

I’m eager to see what God does through this new phase of life and through the advice of smarter men than myself. I look forward to one day having a God glorifying dating relationship that turns into a God glorifying marriage.

Do you have any thoughts on the topic personally? I would love to hear them in the comment section below.


Helpful Resources:

When the Not Yet Married Meet : Dating to Display Jesus
Behind the Blog: Christian Dating

BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN

The scene had been set.
The undesirable sinner walked toward the home of her prestigious accusers.
The Carpenter teaching the ways of the Father speaks to the prominent men.
Laughing, learning, teaching, hearing.
Then all voices stand silent at the unpredicted staggering sight before them,
The woman walks into the room…

The weight of shame prevented her from lifting her eyes from the ground.
She looked not to anyone…but only to the One she sought.
Walking into the room she sees the One who forgives,
Standing with the men who denounce her very life.

Shame couldn’t speak for her.
Fear melted away.
Regret faded.
She looked upon His face.

There He sits.
The Carpenter.
The Nazarene.
The Prophet.
Messiah.

Falling to his feet at the sight of his resplendent eyes
She responds with bountiful amount of tears.
Wetting the feet of the only man who has the power to condemn or forgive.
The weight of seeking salvation through worldly means had broken her.
She wets the feet of her newly found Messiah with sorrowing tears.

Weeping.
Uncontrollable lamentation.
She couldn’t speak.
But He knew her thoughts.
He knew her every sin.
Her every avenue of countless abuses of grace.

She unravels her hair,
Wiping the feet of the One who Forgives,
as he wiped away her veil of shame.

Knowing her every thought.
Looking upon her with nothing but compassion in his eyes
and forgiveness in his voice
He calls to her accusers.

“Do you not see? With much forgiveness comes much love.”

Breaking an alabaster jar
She pours the ointment on his feet
Beautifully broken, pouring everything she owned
On the feet of the One who saves.

The sweet smell of redemption filled the room.
The sweet smell of forgiveness that could only come from the Nazarene.
Her indictors could not escape the nectarous scent
filling the room and the nostrils of the pious.

“Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

Shame melts at the sight of our savior.
Like wax before a hot sun.
Shame is interrupted.
A slave no more to the chains of the past.
Redefined by our Savior and given redemption.
Go in peace the mighty savior said.
Even before her enemies a banqueting table was set.
Beautifully broken she stood and feared not
For the Lord was with her.

She’s set free.


LONGING

Last week a bought of sadness hit me like a ton of bricks.
It always hits at the most inopportune time.
Life has been nothing short of fantastic, then it hits you.

I thought my issue was with loneliness.
I thought my issue laid in unwanted singleness.
But it goes so much deeper than that.
and until this past week, I didn’t have a name for the struggle.

I opened up to a friend about this and his words were so incredibly encouraging.

(if i butcher this I’m sorry brother)

What you’re struggling with sounds like longing, and that’s not something that will go away. Once you’re in a relationship, you’ll long for marriage. Once your married, you may long for kids. Once you have that you may long for a better job…the list can be many many many pages long…

I never even thought of this. It was a completely foreign concept until Tim mentioned it.
The issue wasn’t unwanted singleness or loneliness or scars from the past.
The issue is LONGING.

Longing can be defined as a yearning desire, or a strong, persistent desire or craving, especially for something unattainable or distant.

Navigating new relational waters and new waters in my walk with Christ has been as rewarding as it’s been stressful, and the concept of longing never even crossed my mind.

He opened up about his own struggles with longing and said this, which I remember very vividly:

“I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, but unless your satisfaction is in Jesus, you will never be satisfied. You will always be longing for more, no matter what stage of life you are in.”

This rocked my world a good bit.

In essence what longing tells us is:

ONCE I HAVE ___________ I WILL BE HAPPY.

But, follower of Jesus and those who have yet to discover him, If your satisfaction is not in Jesus, you will continue to long for temporal things, broken cisterns that will never satisfy our thirst.

So, let me challenge you:

What would you fill in that blank with?
What are you longing for?
What are you seeking for satisfaction?

Everyone wants to be happy.
Everyone is on a search for fulfillment.
Find your fulfillment in Jesus and everything else will fall into place.


Father,

Please forgive me for my shortfallings. Please forgive me for my lack of faith in light of relationships. Satisfy my longings, for you, O LORD, are the only one who can satisfy. Satisfy  me and make me thirsty for more of you. Make your love sufficient for today.Give me hope for tomorrow.

Your servant

Matt.


Scripture to Consider:

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

John 6:35
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.

John 7: 37-39
“…“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.Whoever believes in me, asf the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”

2 Cor, 4:7-18
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.

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.