Friday, April 5, 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….
One of the primary causes of the charismatic movement, besides a failure to understand the Bible dispensationally, is that its proponents are seeking God’s power and love. They believe that God needs to demonstrate His power and His love for them by removing their troubles and healing their sick bodies. They want literal, physical, visible proof of God’s presence. Because it is ironic, the thought never occurs to them that God’s wisdom, love, and power could be—and are—demonstrated by Him not removing their troubles and sicknesses.
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). He lists various afflictions that he and we Christians suffer, but concluded: “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (2 Corinthians 4:7).
Notice, “that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” Why do we have the treasure—the life of Jesus Christ—in our earthen vessels—our weak, limited physical bodies? So the exceeding greatness of God’s power can be demonstrated and our inadequacy in and of ourselves can be manifested.
When the Apostle Paul later commented about his various sufferings, he wrote: “And [the Lord] said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of God may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9,10).
To wit, we can and do endure difficult circumstances, not because of ourselves, but due to God’s power strengthening us by transforming our inner man to become the very life of Jesus Christ. What a concept….!