Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. (2 Cor. 4:16)

An elderly woman in my church who is in her mideighties reminds me of Anna, who spent her days at the temple, devoting herself to worship and prayer (Luke 2:36–39). The hands of the praying woman in our church are crippled with arthritis. She wears a brace around her torso to keep her steady. Her walker has the brightest half-tennis-ball sliders you’d ever see. But even though her body is “wasting away,” her soul refuses to give in to the ravages of nature. She spends her days simply taking our prayer requests and lifting them up to heaven’s throne.

The apostle Paul was well aware that his time on earth was limited. Perhaps his “thorn in the flesh,” whatever it was, served as a constant reminder that his perishable body would one day give in to the ravages of age. Of course, before that happened, Paul was executed in Rome. Either way, Paul understood the importance of keeping his eyes on eternity. Whatever was temporal would eventually pass away.

Confidence in our eventual resurrection, sealed and delivered by Christ being raised from the dead, can give us the assurance we need to endure any trial or difficulty. If we keep our focus on Jesus, then the temporary inconveniences of this world will be put in perspective. Don’t take your eyes off the prize, which is eternal life in Christ.

Keep your eyes on Jesus, no matter what else may demand your attention.

Doug Schmidt is a freelance writer and editor; he is also on staff with his church as the small-groups director.