[On 2 Corinthians 5:1-2).
For we know, that if the earthly house of our tabernacle be dissolved, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens (2 Corinthians 5:1).
One ought not to wonder that we suffer affliction; nor to be confounded, for we even reap many gains thereby.
And some of these St Paul mentioned before; for instance, that we “bear about the dying of Jesus,” and present the greatest proof of His power.
For…we exhibit a clear proof of the Resurrection, says Paul, “that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”
Along with these things he says that our inward man is thus made better also; for “though our outward man is decaying…yet the inward man is renewed day by day.”
Showing that this being scourged and persecuted is proportionately useful, he adds that, when this is done thoroughly, then countless blessings will spring up for those who have endured these things.
For lest, when you hear that your outward man perishes, you should grieve, he says that when this is completely effected, then most of all will you rejoice and will come unto a better inheritance.
Thus not only ought one not to grieve at its perishing now in part, but we should earnestly to seek for the completion of that destruction, for this most conducts us to immortality.
Wherefore he adds “for we know that, if the earthly house of our tabernacle be dissolved, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
[…] “For verily in this we groan, longing to be clothed upon with our habitation which is from heaven” (2 Cor. 5:2).
What habitation? The incorruptible body. And why do we groan now? Because that is far better. And he calls it “from heaven” because of its incorruptibleness.
For it is not the case that a body will come down to us from above. Rather, by this expression he signifies the grace which is sent from thence.
So far then ought we to be from grieving at these trials which are in part that we should seek even for their fulness, as if he had said: Do you groan because you are persecuted, because this thy man is decaying? Groan rather that this is not done unto excess and that it perishes not entirely.
Do you see how Paul has turned round what was said unto the contrary? He proves that they ought to groan that those things were not done fully for which they groaned because they were done partially.
John Chrysostom (c.347-407): Commentary on 2 Corinthians, Homily 10, 1-2, [slightly adapted].