NOTE: Daniel and Kelly speak to this question on Episode #9 of The Abel Speaks Podcast. You can listen on Apple, Spotify, or your app of choice.
One question that we’re often asked by parents, specifically parents that share a Christian worldview (which not all the families that we connect with do) is, “We want to stay anchored during this season in the Word of God to be comforted and reminded by truth. Are there some good go-to passages that really resonated with you guys during your pregnancy and beyond with Abel? If so, what are they?”
The short answer is, “Yes, absolutely.” There are several that were incredibly meaningful that we, to this day, think about and go back to often. But there was one passage in 2 Corinthians that really stood above all. We thought we’d share what we see it saying and, more importantly, how that spoke to us during our journey with Abel.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)
Verse 16 says, “Therefore we do not lose heart.” It is possible to be renewed day by day. Those are things that we, really in every season, ought to be thirsting for, but certainly in seasons of suffering. “Man, I’m feeling like I’m losing heart and I’m longing to be renewed. So if what the Apostle Paul is going to say here speaks to that felt need, then I’m all ears.”
He goes on in verses 17 and 18 talking about the perspective that allows us to do those things. That day by day, we can be renewed and we can not lose heart because these things are true. He goes on to talk about these light and momentary troubles, or affiliations. Even just to stop there—when you are in the thick of it, that idea of this being light or momentary feels absurd and even offensive as I read that. I think that is the point. That is what makes the second half of that verse so powerful. The Apostle Paul says that these are light and momentary troubles compared to the eternal glory that lies ahead that far outweighs them all.
We have no idea what heaven is going to be like. This idea of the new heavens, new earth and Jesus returning to make all things new is captivating and beautiful. The one thing we do know is that somehow, mysteriously and powerfully, it will make whatever we are walking through, the heaviest of circumstances, feel light compared to how beautiful and how amazing that is going to be. As God dwells with us and us with Him as He designed and intended for it to be at the beginning of the Bible. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. Why? Because what is seen is simply temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Multiple times a day, even hourly, we would come back to that idea, “Hey, we’re going to fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.” We’d be in the sonogram room with the doctor and were being reminded of what verse 16 days—that outwardly we’re wasting away, that all of our bodies in some capacity are failing. In that moment, we’d remind ourselves of who God is and what He says and the hope we’ve dropped anchor in through Christ and what He has achieved for us. That’s where we go first if somebody asks what was your go-to verse for comfort and hope. “Let’s just flip to 2 Corinthians 4.”
Personally, when it talks about outwardly wasting away, we found that oddly comforting because I was carrying a child that was sick and his body was failing in a lot of ways. Being reminded that that’s true of all of us, and therefore that truth should really change our perspective on how we walk through each day. Then the eternal perspective was a reminder that this is not our home.
The last thought I would add that makes this eternal, redemptive perspectives a reality is the truth that this was made possible only through the suffering and the death of His son. I can’t imagine in a thousand years a scenario where I would be in a position to willingly lay down my son’s life for the good of others and for the eternal good of others – and yet that is what our loving Father was willing to do for us. We believe these things, not just because it’s a nice thought, but because it’s been preserved for us in the everlasting Word of God.
That’s where we dropped anchor all throughout the Scriptures as well as passages like 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. We wanted to take the opportunity to touch on one of the many places where we were encouraged, where we took heart and where we sought to be renewed day by day. We hope that this has been an opportunity for you to do the same.