QUESTION: “At what point do I fold up my tent and discontinue the pilgrimage with Christ?”
Paul, castigated by the very folks he had brought to Christ, set forth the cost of his private pilgrimage:
- Judged by his fellow believers
- Condemned to death
- A spectacle to others
- A fool for Christ
- Without honor
- Hungry and thirsty
- Poorly clothed
- Roughly treated
- Toiled with his own hands
- Viewed as the scum and dregs of the earth (See 1 Corinthians 4:3-5, 9-13)
How could he possibly survive? Simply because he was able to view the temporal in light of the eternal:
“This is the reason we never collapse. The outward man does indeed suffer wear and tear, but every day the inward man receives fresh strength.
“These little troubles (which are really so transitory) are winning for us a permanent, glorious and solid reward out of all proportion to our pain.
“We are looking… not at the visible things but at the invisible. The visible are transitory: It is the invisible things that are really permanent.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Phillips Translation)
So hang in there — Eternity is just one heartbeat away!