Momentary Light Afflictions, Eternal Weight of Glory
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. (2Co 4:17)Believers in Jesus Christ are "ministers [servants] of the new covenant" (2Co_3:6). We serve God by His grace, experiencing it and passing it on to others. "For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God" (2Co_4:15). One astounding privilege of living and serving by grace is that our momentary light afflictions can be producing for us an eternal weight of glory!
Having our temporal difficulties "working for us" is a new, heavenly perspective on afflictions. People generally consider their afflictions as something that is working against them, not for them. Yet, afflictions can work for good, and the good is even eternal! What a gracious plan is revealed in this contrast: "light affliction . . . for a moment" and "eternal weight of glory."
First, consider that heavenly enjoyment of God's "glory" can result from our earthly experiences of "affliction." The difficulties that we endure here on earth can prepare us for opportunities to enter into more glorious fellowship, worship, and service of the Lord in heaven. (Our next meditation will examine when this occurs.)
Then, consider that our afflictions are "light" compared to the "weight" of the glories that lie ahead. This does not mean that our trials on earth are trivial. Note the "light afflictions" that Paul encountered. "In journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness — besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches" (2Co_11:26-28). Yet, Paul counted these as light when compared to the "substantial magnitude" of the glory awaiting him in heaven.
Lastly, consider that the difficulties of life are "but for a moment." Whereas, the resulting heavenly blessings are "eternal." Trials often seem like they will never end. Yet, they eventually pass away. Actually, it is the heavenly glory that results from the trials that will never end.
What an amazing plan God has! He wants to use the trials of our lives to enlarge our spiritual capacity to enter more fully into the glory of knowing Him, worshiping Him, and serving Him forever and forever!
Eternal Father, give me more and more of this perspective on afflictions. Help me to see them as potentially productive in an eternal sense. Remind me that my trials are momentary and light, considering the eternal weight of glory they can produce, Amen.
From: Day by Day by Grace, Bob Hoekstra