And that is exactly what we discussed tonight: focusing on what is important. We read a few key passages that deliver that message, one of them being 2 Corinthians 4:16-18...
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer man is wasting away, our inner man is being renewed every day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because 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.
We talked a good deal about how suffering can be very fruitful for our spiritual growth, but one of the most phenomenal images I recall from the evening was when we began to talk about the weight of God's glory and power. God truly is the fullness of being, the height of all perfection, and His power exceeds all knowledge. What is great about the Christian story, we realized, is that you always know how its going to end... because as we've been told before "The battle has already been won." And the image that was painted for us was that of the final battle during the end times: Previously I have always imagined an epic battle scene with angels and demons and humans all fighting to the death, but what we imagined tonight was how the weight of all God's glory and power is so great that as soon as He arrives on the scene, everyone's knee bends and all fall down in worship of the Lord. Imagine that: instead of an epic battle lasting days and months and weeks, it is all over in less than a moment as soon as God arrives.
We also looked at Romans 8:19-21, which says, "For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God." And from here we get to what this post is really all about: holding on to what matters. It is important to remember in everything we do that all is futile if it doesn't bring us or others closer to Christ. We can let our lives be consumed by the things of this day or our worries for tomorrow, or we can focus on what really matters. All else is transient, but what is eternal--what is lasting--is what truly matters.
As we delve deeper into the season of Lent, may we be reminded to cling to Christ in all things so that we may truly find that we are holding on to what matters.