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While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen [are] temporal; but the things which are not seen [are] eternal.
Note 20 at 2Co 4:18: As stated in note 19 at 2Co 4:17, Paul reduced the impact of his afflictions by remembering that everything he suffered in this life was "but for a moment." In this verse, Paul made it very clear how he accomplished this. He focused his attention on the invisible truths of the spiritual realm, which were eternal, instead of the visible things of this physical world, which are all passing away (Mr 13:31 and 2Pe 3:10).
Our emotions and attitudes follow what we think on (see note 10 at Mr 6:52). When we focus our attention on our problems, they get magnified out of proportion. When we neglect our problems and think on God's provision, the answer gets magnified and the problem shrinks (see note 5 at Ro 16:19). Whatever we think upon is going to dominate us.
If we think on depressing things, we'll be depressed. If we think on uplifting things, we'll be uplifted. If we think "By His stripes, we were healed" (1Pe 2:24), we'll be healed (Ro 8:6). If our thinking is sick, we'll be sick. The battle is for our minds.
Note 21 at 2Co 4:18: The word "temporal" means temporary. Any problem that we can see is limited by time. It will pass. However, spiritual truths, including our union with Christ and all the benefits that entails, are forever. When problems begin to oppress us, we should tell them that they're only temporary and look to the future.
Today's English Version translates this verse this way, "For we fix our attention, not on things that are seen, but on things that are unseen. What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts forever."