“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” II Corinthians 4:17
The Bible says that many are the afflictions of the people of God, but the Lord will deliver them out of them all. Afflictions are part of the Christian life. God had one perfect Son, but never one without afflictions. Afflictions can come in all forms. The main thing we need to remember about them is that they are light compared to the glory we shall soon experience, they are but for a moment, and they are working for us now to make us better Christians.
When we come into seasons of affliction the most natural question we ask is “why.” We sometimes get the misguided idea that because we are saved and trying to live a godly life that we will miss afflictions. Who among us has not wondered why we suffer while living a holy, godly, separated life. While it seems the loose-living, mouth-professing, so-called Christians seem to have a life free from affliction.
Think of it along these lines. In a military battle there are regular foot soldiers that follow orders. Also, there are captains and leaders who are out front leading the forces. Now, the enemy wants to make the most of his chance to disarm the forces. Once the sharp-shooter is in position to fire his one and only shoot, who do you think he’ll take aim at – the captain, no doubt. The sharp-shooter can do more damage to the whole group if he wounds the captain. So it is with our adversary Satan and his fiery darts. So let us examine our text.
I.) Our afflictions are light compared to the glory that will be revealed to us.
Even though our burdens are heavy if we look at them in the light of the glory that will be revealed to us, we can look past them. Our afflictions are not even worthy to be compared to the glory we shall enjoy. We must not look on the things that are seen, but on the things not seen.
II.) Our afflictions are just for a moment
When we compare our time on Earth to our time in Heaven we see our afflictions are for just a moment. The next time you face a valley, just think of the joys of eternity and it will seem just for a moment. Paul in these verses was speaking from the heart that had known affliction. I have often wondered why our earthly afflictions seem to over shadow our heavenly promises. I use this example of the moon and the sun. The sun is greater in heat and force, but because the moon is actually closer to the Earth, it has more affect over the tides and seasons. So it is with our afflictions. They seem closer to us than Heaven, but we must press on.
III.) Our afflictions work for our good
II Corinthians 4:15 tells us that all things are for our sake. The afflictions that trouble our soul also help our soul; it is a far more exceeding weight of glory. Sometimes when the potter puts his hand to the clay it is painful, but it molds it into something to be used by the master. So remember our affliction is allowed by our Father and must pass through His hand before it reaches us… Amen.