Tuesday, April 2, 2013
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;” (2 Corinthians 4:17 KJV).
A brief, light annoyance—an everlasting, much heavier weight of praise and worship….
All sorts of afflictions plague us—daily annoyances, life-threatening accidents, illness, painful results of our mistakes and those of others, physical death of loved ones, et cetera. Then, there are the troubles associated with being a Christian in this Satan-dominated world. Burdens, burdens, burdens! These circumstances cause us to grow weary and depressed. They generate doubt and gender all sorts of questions. “Is God mad at me?” “Is He punishing me because of un-confessed sin?” “Does God really love me?” “Just why am I suffering?” These uncertainties only add to the despondency.
In the context of today’s Scripture (4:1–6:18), the Apostle Paul discussed the ministry we have as “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20). Read 2 Corinthians 4:7-12: “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you.”
Paul and Timothy, authors of 2 Corinthians (1:1), have suffered in the ministry for the sake of these Corinthians’ salvation and spiritual growth. They are “troubled on every side,” but they are not worrisome. Their suffering is difficult to comprehend, but they are not hopeless. They are persecuted, but the Lord is with them. Symbolically, they are thrown down, but their inner man has remained intact. This is God’s power, making the very life of Jesus Christ evident in their souls and their lives, and we have it too in Christ….