This devotional is in no way meant to trivialize the hurt and the pain that those suffering today are experiencing (Covid related or otherwise).
We know how difficult it can be to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you’re in the middle of the longest, darkest part.
But the Bible provides us with a ray of light as offered by Paul in Corinthians. “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
Your first thought might be that Paul doesn’t have a clue. Light affliction? Losing a loved one or losing a job does not feel light!
But Paul knew affliction. He was not minimizing the struggles that we endure here on earth.
He had been beaten, imprisoned and shipwrecked. He knew what it was to be hungry, thirsty, cold, and unable to sleep. And that’s just the physical stuff! Paul knew what it was to suffer!
But Paul also knew God. And he believed His Word. He said in Acts 27:25 NLT, “So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said.”
Many of us know about God, but many of us don’t know God. And that might be the reason we have difficulty believing what He says.
Paul was confident in God’s Word to be able to say that the eternal weight of glory far outweighs any temporary affliction.
Note the contrasting elements presented here:
1. Eternal vs. Temporary
As horrible the experience we may be going through right now, history has taught us that it will pass. And while its temporal nature does not diminish the terrible suffering which accompanies it, this phase will eventually become a part of our past.
Not so with what God has prepared. In fact, it is quite the opposite. It is everlasting; it is eternal.
2. Weight vs. Light
Paul uses another analogy to continue to drive home his point. Volume.
What God has in store for us could possibly overwhelm us; it’s a lot; it is heavy. It lasts. Unlike the lighter experiences of this earth which begin to fade with time. “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 KJV
So hold on. Don’t give up!
Every day we are reminded that the Christian’s journey is not an easy one.
Look at Christ’s own experience while on earth. However, don’t just look at His trials, but see His triumphs. And know that with Him, we too can be overcomers.
Remember His words, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NLT
Friends, if He could, with His help, we can too.
One day soon the sufferings of this old earth will be over. Then, it would be worth it after all. “And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor.” 1 Peter 5:4 NLT
Until then, don’t give up. Don’t lose hope!