December 15, 2021
Scripture: So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 2 Corinthians 5:6-9 ESV
Observation: In the latter half of chapter four, Paul addresses our hope of the resurrection: that when we pass from this temporal life, we will be present with Jesus (4:13-14). Hence, we do not lose heart with the aging process or afflictions (4:16). In this next chapter, Paul understandably progresses in thought to our lives beyond our earthly dwelling. Paul is conflicted: he yearns to be at home with our Lord, yet he knows that there is still work to be done here on earth. So no matter what the future holds, Paul is of good courage, a phrase he uses twice in this short passage.
Takeaway: We are always of good courage? How can a man who experienced more suffering and persecution than most of us will ever encounter speak with such platitude? He adds an essential element of successfully pressing on in the here and now: walking by faith, not by sight (verse 7). Paul nurtured his faith throughout his life by studying the Scriptures, praying and worshipping fervently, and most importantly, putting his faith into practice through obedience to the Truth. Thus, Paul had a clear vision of the glory awaiting him in the next life and a strong sense of commitment to not only walk by faith in this life but sprint to the finish line (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). With this foundation, Paul and his cohorts were always of good courage.
Prayer: Father God, we thank you for godly men and women like Paul and his ministry team, who exhibited good courage, even when times were tough. Would you please help us follow their example and nurture our relationship with you, that we might walk by faith in obedience to you and be of good courage? Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling