The Eternal Weight Of Glory

August 3, 2012

The Eternal Weight of Glory

            “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (II Corinthians 4:16-18).

In these verses the Apostle Paul teaches God’s children to have the right attitude towards afflictions.  It’s a new philosophy regarding affliction.  Only genuine Christians can live by this philosophy because it is based on our hope of a glorious future.  If you aren’t a born again child of God, there is little consolation we can give you when you face affliction.

As believers, we should be “looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:20).   This will give us the confidence that what ever happens isn’t just by chance.  Our all wise God has planned it all.  He knows what he is doing.  Romans 8:28 says “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

In II Corinthians 4:16-18 Paul encourages us to take into consideration the fact that it’s just a light affliction.  It is a consolation to know that it’s not with full intensity.  If we will only look, we can almost always find a positive side to every situation.  When there is no earthly solution, we can lift our eyes heavenward and find consolation.  Revelation 21:4 gives us a glimpse of the glorious future that awaits us.  “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

The Greek word Paul used in verse 17 for affliction could also be translated “burden.”  It’s something that weighs us down.  For that reason we speak of it as “a burden we must bear.”  It’s something we feel.  When Paul says it’s light, he must mean that it’s not as heavy as it could be.  Many times we have a tendency to exaggerate the seriousness of our affliction.  That makes it seem more dramatic.  Perhaps it’s because we are seeking attention and sympathy.

Paul also tells us that our affliction is momentary.  Perhaps it’s just for today and tomorrow.  Even if it’s to endure the rest of our lives; what is that in comparison to eternity?  Once when I was a boy I stepped on a nail and got infection in my foot.  To me, it seemed like an eternity that I had to hobble around on one foot.  It was probably just for two or three days.  Afflictions are momentary.  Be patient.  It will pass and we will enjoy the eternal weight of glory.

That which gives us consolation and lightens the weight of our affliction is the knowledge that through it we are adding to our eternal weight of glory.  Our eternal weight of glory will not be a burden we must bear, but blessing we will enjoy for ever.  In Matthew 6:20-21 Jesus exhorts us to lay up treasure in heaven.  “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”  Bearing afflictions with the right spirit is just one way of doing that.  Our service for Christ is another way.  Paul says our afflictions work for us a far more exceeding weight of glory.

From our earthly point of view we say “How unfortunate is the one who has to bear multiple afflictions.”  When we get to heaven perhaps we will say “How fortunate is the one who bore multiple afflictions.”  Our earthly pilgrimage is a preparation for our heavenly paradise.  How would we know how to appreciate the treasures of heaven if we hadn’t experienced trials and tribulations in our earthly pilgrimage?

It may be that when we get to heaven you and I won’t have any more treasures than others have, but we will appreciate them much more because the former things are passed away.  Let’s go back to Revelation 21:4.  The multitude of tears we have shed will magnify the thrill of the realization that there shall be no more. We shall be thrilled to know that we shall never again experience the anguish of death or the sorrow that goes with the loss of loved ones.  The blessing in heaven of knowing that there shall be no more pain will be in proportion to the intensity of the pain we have suffered in this life.  There would be no blessedness in the fact that there shall be no more pain if the memory of the pain we suffered on earth was blotted out the moment we entered heaven.

Affliction is never easy and seldom sought after.  However, knowing that it adds to the eternal weight of glory that we shall have in the future, makes it easier to bear.  “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you”

(I Thessalonians 5:18).

Reader, If you’re not a child of God, you will suffer affliction along with the rest of us, but you aren’t laying up anything in Heaven.  You can become a child of God now by repenting of your sin and trusting in Jesus as your sin bearer.  Jesus died that you might have life and have it more abundantly.  (John 10:10)


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