Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 96:7-13 | Job 37:1 – 39:30 | 2 Corinthians 4:13 – 5:10 | Proverbs 22:13
Today’s Scripture Focus: 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:10
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17 NIV).
I love the phrase Paul uses to describe troubles: “Our light and momentary troubles.” Remember his light and momentary troubles? “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed, perplexed but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned, struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed” (4:8-10).
A few chapters later he further details his “light and momentary troubles”:
I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and have been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country; in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and been cold and naked” (11:23-27).
How can he say that such things were light and momentary troubles? Because Paul focused the eyes of his heart on the hope that is to come—his focus was eternal glory. He knew that the rewards for his faithful service and all the blessings of the life to come would so far outweigh the suffering and pain he had experienced here that they could only be considered light and momentary troubles.
We tend to magnify the troubles down here and lose sight of the glory that is to come. It seems the natural tendency. Paul did the opposite. He focused more on the glory that was to be revealed. From that perspective, even the most devastating events were viewed as “light and momentary troubles.”
Therefore “we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (4:18). Keep looking up! Keep pressing on. There is yet glory to be revealed.
Father, enable me to keep my eyes focused on the glory that is to come rather than on the light and momentary troubles of daily life. Fill me with hope as I look forward to all the blessings of eternity. Strengthen me with joy as I press ahead through trying times. Amen.