“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17).

IF THERE IS ANY HARDSHIP TO BE ENDURED AS WE SEEK GOD, THAT HARDSHIP IS NOTHING COMPARED TO THE GLORY THAT WAITS FOR US WHEN THE HARDSHIP IS OVER. It would be dishonest to suggest that the Christian does not have to deal with the “problem of pain,” for that is certainly not the truth. But the other side of that truth should not be forgotten. Speaking of His own crucifixion, Jesus said, “Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” (Luke 24:26). Just as His glory was on the other side of His suffering, so it is with us who intend to follow Him. Our prayer is not to be delivered from difficulty but to keep our minds fixed on the radiant joy that the difficulty is accomplishing. Peter wrote, “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you” (1 Peter 5:10).

Paul speaks of a “weight of glory” that is out of all proportion to the “light affliction” we may suffer during our earthly lifetime. Our suffering may be so painful right now it is hard for us to see how this can be so, but we will have only just begun to enjoy that glory when we realize how insignificant the suffering was. The point is not that our sufferings are insignificant in themselves, for the horrors some have suffered in this world are truly profound. But compared to the glory, our sufferings are small. And not only that, but compared to the “eternal” nature of the glory, our sufferings are only “for a moment.”

In their practical impact on our thinking, these truths can be nothing short of revolutionary. They can make a monumental difference in our ability to persevere. “We do not lose heart,” Paul writes. “Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16). Our adversary would like to bog us down so deeply in our troubles that we lose all perspective, but we simply must not allow that to happen. Our vision must be kept clear, and we must make the consistent choice to look not “at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen” (2 Corinthians 4:18).

“Glory is perfected grace” (Meister Eckhart).

Gary Henry — WordPoints.com + AreYouaChristian.com

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