That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Murphy’s Law says, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” Although that’s a very pessimistic view of things, we all feel like that at times.
Mary and Joseph had to travel to Bethlehem at the same time Mary’s baby was due. The poor timing might have seemed like Murphy’s Law to them but it was out of their control. They had to obey the law to show up in Bethlehem for the census so they would have to trust God to work out the details.
Little did they know God was working out the details to fulfill the prophecies written about the Messiah centuries earlier—prophecies that said the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem: “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel, whose origins are in the distant past, will come from you on my behalf” (Micah 5:2).
When things are more difficult than we wish they were, it’s easy to forget God is in the details. He is working things out, even if life seems complicated, inconvenient, and difficult.
Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, speaking openly about being “weighed down with troubles” (2 Corinthians 1:6). He explained it this way: “We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:8-9).
Because of their difficult circumstances, Paul and his companions learned to rely on God. We think trusting God ought to come naturally for Christians, but Paul says he learned to rely on God. Sometimes desperate situations force us to rely on God rather than our fierce independence.
Paul also said they never gave up. They realized their troubles were small and wouldn’t last very long. The eternal glory ahead of us outweighs any puny problems we face during our time on earth. We can lift our eyes above our circumstances and see the glory of eternity ahead. The glory ahead will last forever, but our troubles are only temporary.
Thank you, Lord, for your grace in working out the details of my life. When life feels out of control, remind me you are in control even when life seems inconvenient, complicated, and difficult. Teach me to trust in you so I learn to rely on you and not myself or my circumstances. Help me maintain an eternal perspective. My troubles are temporary, but eternal glory will last forever. Thank you!
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