Initial Appearances (2 Corinthians 5:4-5)

Verruciform xanthoma.

If one can excuse the crassness of my statement, this is one of my favorite diseases. It presents as a clinically worrisome lesion, raising the spectre of cancer. However, upon microscopic examination, it is benign and a simple excision is curative. Initial appearances can be deceiving. I often receive direct positive feedback with this diagnosis informing me that everyone is happy-the patient, their family, and the treating physician. I wish all my diagnoses were benign and my patients are immediately cured.

How often have I found myself in a situation when the initial appearances seem hopeless? Perhaps you have also found yourself in a similar situation? A rejection from a college or professional school. Getting fired from your dream job. A diagnosis of cancer. The list is endless. When trials confront us, what hope do we have?

While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.

2 Corinthians 5:4-5 (NLT)

We all groan as our bodies age, some, like myself, more than others. The longer we live, the more the injuries accumulate. It is not only physical ailments. The emotional and psychological wounds add up and also weigh us down. The rejections. The broken relationships. At times, it may be overwhelming and we may even adopt a fatalistic attitude, resigning ourselves that we are only born for trouble and tribulation, as surely as sparks fly upward (Job 5:7). Thanks be to God that He gives us the promise of a better life and affirmed it with the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. If we confess and repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, He seals us with His Holy Spirit and begins the process of regeneration, reversing the inexorable progress to death and destruction that sin wrecks upon our lives. Someday, in Heaven, it will be complete and we will rejoice with our new bodies. There will be no more physical ailments and no more tears of sorrow. 

Initial appearances can be deceiving.

If we only focus upon our immediate circumstances, we may quickly despair. Only faith and belief in Jesus Christ can give us the true view of reality and give us confidence that we will overcome all and live in triumph in eternity with Him. 

Amen!

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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