I was mulling over being discouraged over how things can look bleak for those that are trying to follow God and flourishing for those seeking self first. I often struggle with this and maybe you do too! Some verses in my study this morning jumped out at me as encouragement for both of us.
2 Cor 4:16-18- NIV
"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. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
Paul was sorely abused and misused for the gospel as he went around sharing. But he never gave in or gave up, he always did right and honored God above all else. Thinking about that got me going and 2 things stuck out to me.
1) Satan trys to discourage us from continuing in doing right be having us look around at how the rest of the world seems to be blooming as they do wrong. Comparison always leads to discontent and frustration. He wants to discourage you from hanging in there, doing right and trusting God to take care of you.
2) God is more concerned with our best internally than our lives externally. For instance, He would rather have you learn trust in him than give you a new car. Think about your own kids. Woudn't you rather your child learn honesty even when it is hard and change her character and life for the better long term than give her a new "littlest pet" that she will love for a minute and then forget all about?
He wants you to learn trust, righteousness and patience for the long haul, even if it is tough, rather than just give you a job or new place to live. He loves you enough to want your best instead of the temporary good.
So I hope this encourages you as much as it did me. May we bring glory to the King as we learn to follow after him. Keep your gaze upward!