devotional post # 2170
2 Corinthians 5:4-7
2Co 5:4 Because while we are staying in this tent, we groan, because it depresses us– not that we want to be stripped, but that we want to be clothed, so that the mortal may be swallowed up by life.
2Co 5:5 The one who has made us ready for this is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit.
2Co 5:6 That is why we can always be encouraged, even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord,
2Co 5:7 because we are walking by faith, not by sight.
depression and encouragement
Lots of people read this passage as if Paul is revealing a secret power — a knowledge that encourages him. That is somewhat true, but he is not saying that his hope is to someday leave his body and fly to heaven to be home with the Lord. Verse six is parallel to verse four. Being “home in the body” is equivalent to “staying in this tent” — this present mortal existence. What Paul wants instead — and the truth that encourages him even while he is depressed in his tent — is that he is going to be raised to immortality when the Lord returns. The mortal is going to be swallowed up by life. His hope is that “the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also” 4:14. So, his life is filled with both depression and encouragement. He suffers depression in this life while staying in his temporary tent, but he is also encouraged by the expectation of a glorious existence for eternity when Christ returns.
LORD, thank you for the blessed hope, which encourages us despite our times of depression. We wait for your power to rescue us from mortality and death.