Because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will bring us with you into his presence. Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure (2 Corinthians 4:14-17)

How strange to hear this life — our struggles, our pain, our fears — described as a “slight momentary affliction.”  This passage is the culmination of a chapter that speaks to perseverance in the face of suffering.  Paul reminds us that our true hope lies, not in this life, but in the world to come.  Though our bodies waste away, God’s grace renews our inner natures.  And though we suffer afflictions now, an eternal glory awaits us.

But our hopes in this world can distract us as easily as our cares.  We are taught to plan, to strive, to leave this world better than we found it.  This passage suggests a different focus.  How differently would we live this life if we believed it merely to be a preparation for the next?  How would our values change if we focused, not on achievement in this world, but on the “eternal weight of glory beyond all measure” that is to come?

Lord God, help us not to lose heart and as we suffer the afflictions of this world, to remember the eternal glory to come.  Amen.

William Peterson father and husband

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