MOMENTARY LIGHT AFFLICTION
For our affliction, which is for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. II Corinthians 4:17
What seems momentary to God seems like an eternity to those who are suffering through trials, tribulations and testings, but these things are for our good as we are being conformed into His image.
When we are suffering through sickness, financial need, or any trial of life we are being observed by others wanting to see if this child of God is for real or not, and if His God truly loves him, providing grace, mercy and peace to comfort him. God does not allow us to suffer for Him without the supernatural grace to be able to withstand the trial.
All believers will at some time in their spiritual journey suffer for His sake as God tests the true value of their fellowship with Him. Just as the parable of the sower states, many were drawn away to serve other gods or were choked by the ways and things of the world.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. II Corinthians 4:16
ETERNAL WEIGHT OF GLORY
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18
The Hebrew word translated into English for glory is kabod which has the root meaning for weight or heaviness. In other words when we speak of weight we are talking about the worth or value of something as in the estimated worth of gold being weighed and tested for its purity.
Just as gold is purified by fire to burn out the impurities, so we too are heated up through trials and testings to conform us into the image of God. Our eternal weight of glory is revealed by that which we have suffered for Him and the glory He has received for our sacrifice of suffering. God receives glory from that which we suffer and when we recover from the trial He gets the glory because of our victory.
Counting it all joy and rejoicing in our trials is a sign of our spiritual maturity as we grow by what we experience and although we are suffering we offer praise to God for His grace to empower us to endure that which we suffer.
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory. I Peter 1:6-8
THE FELLOWSHIP OF HIS SUFFERING
That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings being conformed to His death. Philippians 3:10
We all want to know Jesus better as the apostle Paul states and we desire to know the power that raised Him from the dead, but the fellowship of His suffering, not so much! As Jesus faced death in the garden of Gethsemane He too was hesitant to leave this world, even as we are hesitant to die prematurely.
The word fellowship is synonymous with communion which means to share and we as believers share in the sufferings of Christ that ultimately bring great glory to God. Throughout the history of the church Christians have suffered greatly for their faith being persecuted, martyred, exiled, beaten and some as Peter, even crucified as their Lord.
So, as you suffer through whatever trial you are experiencing, remember Jesus who suffered before you, leaving you as an example to follow in His footsteps. Be strong and courageous because the Lord will be with you in every trial and test and will ultimately deliver you from your circumstances.
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. I Peter 4:12,13
Your servant in Christ, Timothy Laughlin
Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ