We have always been curious about seeing the invisible, so we create great microscopes so that we might see microbes and even atoms. We create telescopes so we can see the galaxies and stars so far away. There are, however, some things we can never see, at least with physical eyes. Some things can only be seen with the eyes of faith.
So much of what is best about Christianity cannot be seen by human eyes. When we do develop our spiritual eyes and are enabled to see what is of the greatest value, then we see that the visible is not worth comparing with the invisible.
1.The visible decay is not worth comparing to the invisible renewal (v. 16).
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
Eventually the human body stops growing. Eventually, little by little, the body ages. As we age, sickness becomes more common. As we age, the pain becomes more intense. This decline never has to happen to our spirit.
- The visible affliction is not worth comparing to the invisible glory (v. 17).
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
The affliction we must face here is light. The affliction we must face here is temporary.
- The visible existence is not worth comparing to the invisible existence (v. 18).
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
This life is not all there is. As beautiful as it sometimes can be, God has promised a better place. This life is temporary. Everything we experience here will someday fade, but that which is eternal only grows more beautiful. This life is not the best God has for us.
In April of 1988, a TV cameraman jumped out of a plane with some other skydivers. His goal was to record the exciting jump of the skydivers as they fell to the earth. What’s more, this footage was shown on the local TV news, but not for the reasons why the cameraman had originally recorded the event.
After several minutes of “free fall,” the cameraman then filmed the skydivers as they one by one opened their parachutes. Of course, the final skydiver was the cameraman himself and the time came for him to pull his parachute ripcord.
However, when the cameraman reached for his ripcord, he realized to his horror and shock that he had no ripcord. It turns out that he had completely forgotten to put on his parachute.
This story is not only tragic, but it is also ironic. Ironic because the cameraman took a plunge into what appeared to be an exciting and thrilling jump. But tragically, in a moment of foolish carelessness, he made the worst mistake of his entire life: he jumped to his own death. Yes, his faith had been based upon a parachute — a life support — that wasn’t there.
In the same way, if we based our lives upon anything other than faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, then we will make the biggest mistake of our entire lives as well. That is, faith other than in Christ will lead to our spiritual deaths! What’s more, this spiritual death will be for all eternity — forever and ever!
The most important things in life are things we cannot see. We trust a book, whose original we have never seen, to help us learn about a man we have never met, to save us through an event we have never seen, and take us to a place we have never visited. Nevertheless, we believe.