WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN, LOOK AT WHAT IS INVISIBLE

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WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN, LOOK AT WHAT IS INVISIBLE

Ever wondered why we are afraid of ghosts and apparitions? That’s because what is unseen, is often scarier that what is seen. I mean, think about it. Are you afraid of a mall full of people? Of course you aren’t. But how many of us would dare spend an hour in a dark and deserted cemetery?

Now, I don’t mean to say that cemeteries are full of ghosts. But the fact that they are not, should bring home my point even stronger – we are afraid of what we cannot see.

But you know what, beloved? We’ve got it all wrong. We should not be afraid of the things we cannot see. Instead, we should be glad in them, have more confidence in them and long for the things that we cannot see.

“For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18

Now, when Paul said this, he was talking at length about the problems which he and his crew were facing. They were up against much opposition. People were trying to discredit them and throw them into jail every opportunity they could.

Yet, through it all, He said this.

“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

But why did they have that hope? How could they have that hope? Well, it is because they were

“always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” 2 Corinthians 4:10-11

I don’t need to tell you this because you probably know this as well as I do – living life on the ‘straight and narrow’ is difficult. Temptations come. Trials come. Challenges come. And they all seek to do but one thing, take us “out of the power and keeping of God” Luke 22:31 [AMPC].

But when challenges come, when Satan seeks to remove us from the power and keeping of God, there is a way for us to be

“…hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

And it happens when “…we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18

Now, let’s put aside the things that are unseen first, and consider what is seen. Have you ever noticed a common characteristic amongst all the things that are seen? Yes, they will all waste away.

So are you relying on your bank account to give you security? Hey, banks have fallen and financial institutions gone bankrupt. Remember Barings?

Or perhaps you are relying on your job to give you security? Hey, the nature of trade means that companies move or get bought up; even industries die out. Just count how many jobs that existed during your grandpa’s time are still around today?

Or are you relying on your gym and your fitness trainer to keep you in the pink of health? Seems like the number of perfectly fit people who drop like flies during sporting events is on the rise.

Indeed, anything that you can see, can and will waste away. So what do we do then?

“…we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen;…” 2 Corinthians 4:18 [AMPC]

But why do we do that?

“For all [these] things are [taking place] for your sake, so that the more grace (divine favor and spiritual blessing) extends to more and more people and multiplies through the many, the more thanksgiving may increase [and redound] to the glory of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:15 [AMPC]

Your problems, as important as they are, really are not the point. Because you see, they are merely there so that something else will happen. So what does your problem facilitate?

“…so that the more grace (divine favor and spiritual blessing) extends to more and more people and multiplies through the many, the more thanksgiving may increase [and redound] to the glory of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:15 [AMPC]

So instead of focusing on our problems, we should keep our eyes on the divine favor and spiritual blessing of our Father.

Now, let’s leave spiritual for a moment and think in the natural. Do we understand ‘favor’? We do, don’t we? That’s when our bosses like us, our clients like us, our teachers like us; and we get along in life rather nicely, with minimal effort, despite the challenges, tasks, assignments and projects that befall us.

Imagine then if this time, instead of just your bosses, your clients and your teachers, you had God smiling upon you. How much easier life will be?

So the million dollar question must be, is God smiling on you? Well, I don’t like to dwell on conjecture, so let’s go with what Jesus said;

“Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom!” Luke 12:32 [AMP]

And that is why Jesus also says,

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8

“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declared the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 [NIV]

“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:24

Now, that Jesus has said this of you, beloved child of God, need you wonder if God is looking favorably upon you while you are going through your trial? Surely it must be that

“…all [these] things are [taking place] for your sake, so that the more grace (divine favor and spiritual blessing) extends to more and more people and multiplies through the many, the more thanksgiving may increase [and redound] to the glory of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:15 [AMPC]

You know, when the chips are down, it is often tempting to judge our situation by what is visible and extrapolate the extent of our Father’s love for us by what we see around us.

But beloved, what you see around you is not your permanent reality.

“…for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting.” 2 Corinthians 4:18 [AMPC]

Our Father’s love for us is deathless and everlasting. And because the salvation that Jesus purchased for us is deathless and everlasting, the right standing that we have as His children is deathless and everlasting. And that means that our right to receive protection and provision from our Father is deathless and everlasting. For

“If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father Who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give good and advantageous things to those who keep on asking Him!” Matthew 7:11 [AMPC]

So what would you rather keep your eye on?

Beloved, yes, it is difficult to keep our eyes on things we cannot see. But when we remember each and every provision that Jesus has given, when we remember each and every time we were delivered and protected from harm, we can have the confidence to know that indeed, Jesus’ words were true when He said,

“…Blessed and happy and to be envied are those who have never seen Me and yet have believed and adhered to and trusted and relied on Me.” John 20:29 [AMP]

Indeed, we are more blessed than any generation ever was. And we hold on to that truth when we keep our eyes on the invisible. So don’t let the world distract you and take you out from the power and keeping of God. Keep your eyes on Him, and let Him constantly remind you of just how much He loves you.

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