“For momentary, light affliction is producing for us
an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison”
2 Cor.: 4:17; NASB
We all experience differing levels of affliction in our lives. The Greek word translated “affliction” in this verse means anguish, burden, persecution, or trouble. What seems like a life changing burden to you might seem like nothing to someone else. You might think what someone else is going through shouldn’t be bothering them at all. It can be said that burdens are best understood by those afflicted, and not understood at all by those who have never experienced them.
For instance, you cannot truly understand what it is like to go through a contentious divorce, or the death of a loved one unless you have gone through it. It is impossible to explain to someone how you are feeling about something if they have never experienced it. It is also unfair to expect them to understand all that you are going through. But regardless of the circumstances, it is you who determines how any situation will affect you.
In this passage, Paul speaks of “light affliction.” Anyone who reads the account of Paul’s ministry in the book of Acts (chapters 13-28) will realize that what he experienced was anything but “light affliction.” Not only that, but he calls it “momentary”, even though by the time he wrote this he had been going at it for around two decades.
How could he consider his affliction so lightly? Five times he received thirty-nine lashes, three times he was beaten with rods, he was stoned once and shipwrecked three times. That’s not to mention the constant pursuit of the Jews who wanted to kill him, the imprisonments, the homelessness, hunger, exposure, etc., etc., etc., (see 2 Cor. 11:23-28). So, how did he consider these things “light afflictions?”
Everything that happens in our lives is subject to our perception. We can choose, in every instance, how to consider each situation as it happens. In Christ we have been given a hope that rises above all hardships. He loves us through any and all situations. In Him, we have the promise of eternal life. Our ultimate destination is eternity with Jesus and our Almighty Father.
Regardless of the circumstances, in Christ our destiny is secure. It is a fate that is “far beyond all comparison.” No wonder Paul could state that: “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Php. 3:14) There is nothing that can happen in this world that can change your final destination when you choose to love Jesus through it all. Compared to the eternal death that Jesus died to save us from, everything else can be considered “light afflictions.”
Have a great week and God bless.
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