Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
– 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (emphasis added)
The emphasized portion of this passage from the apostle Paul speaks of faith. For here is how faith is defined:
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
– Hebrews 11:1 (emphasis added)
We cannot see Jesus Christ with our physical eyes. This is why Paul could write:
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened…
– Ephesians 1:18
Therefore, it is with the eyes of our hearts that we are able to see unseen things. And the most important unseen thing to see is, of course, Jesus Christ Himself – raised from the dead, reigning now as King of the kingdom of God (which is to say: King of the Universe).
These “eyes of the heart” are aspects of the “inner man,” mentioned above, that “is being renewed day by day.” Even though the “outer man is decaying,” which is to say that we all die, our inner man, including our spiritual eyes, can be “renewed day by day.” For this reason, we want to be:
fixing our eyes on Jesus…
– Hebrews 12:2
This allows us to endure the difficulties of life through:
…seeing Him who is unseen.
– Hebrews 11:27
Unseen things are eternal – that is, they don’t wear out or go away. Seen things are constantly changing. Our circumstances are temporary; God is always going to be there. Thus the point of Paul’s passage above is that we should live our lives in light of what’s never going to change instead of in light of what’s changing all the time.
The reason people get seasick is that it’s hard to find a fixed point of visual reference on the open seas. Jesus Christ is the fixed point of reference for the eyes of our heart.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, everything I can physically see is in the process of changing. You, however, never change. Give me the strength to live not according to what is seen, but what is unseen…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures above are taken from the NASB.)