If I’m honest, some days I wonder if the hard days are worth it.
I’ve uttered, more than once, when the trouble around me feels deep, “Oh Lord, won’t you just come on and get us?”
But then, as He does so often, at just the right time, right when I need it, God will remind me of truth in His Word:
“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal”. (2 Cor 4:17-18)
Paul had already faced horrific things when he wrote his second letter to the Christians in Corinth. He called his afflictions “light”. They seem far from light when he describes them later on in his letter:
“Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.( 2 Cor 11:24-31)
Please feel the weight of those HARD things that this REAL man truly endured.
Maybe let your eyes read those words again and imagine if those were your trials to remember.
But don’t miss this: this man who faced all these hard trials, says our afflictions are “preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.”
Paul is telling us…it is all worth it!
It’s worth it! Because the hardest of things can bring an “eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison”.
Paul is trying to help us learn to see our trials with this perspective.
For if we can shift our focus from our temporary afflictions, from what is seen, to what is unseen (v 4:18) there is an eternal glory to be had.
This refocusing is how “we will not lose heart .” (4:16).
But this recipe for hope is not a one-time action.
We have to DAILY shift our focus, often even moment by moment.
We have to deliberately turn our eyes upon Jesus in order to not lose heart and walk forward in hope.
This is a decision we have to exercise over and over because life is hard!
Our Christian walk is not a cake-walk. We may not be physically beaten but we all get beat down.
We get weary.
Trouble feels like trouble.
It is gut-wrenching sometimes.
But God is a shield about us, our glory and the lifter of our heads (Ps 3:3). He uses hard things to bring good (Rom 8:28) in this life that is truly but a breath! (Ps 144:4).
Paul knew this to be true, and we can know it too.
God really is doing bigger things than our eyes can see through the difficult things we are facing in this life. (Eph 3:20).
Sometimes those trials are for us…so we can learn to trust God more.
Sometimes those hard roads are so others can see Jesus in us.
But, either way, we’ve got to hold on to Jesus. We have to hold on to truth from His Word.
We believe Him and then we keep believing Him.
As we take one day at a time, as we keep following Him in obedience and keep trusting that He will put all our days together… we can rest in the fact that He will bring about an eternal glory that really is beyond all comparison!
Oh friend, your Father has you! He has all that concerns you! Hold tightly to Him!