Wednesday, April 30, 2014
From Pastor Chris: Momentary Troubles Achieving Eternal Glory
2 Corinthians 4:17
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,
This verse comes in one of the great passages of the New Testament. 2 Corinthians 4 is wonderful description of the daily Christian life. We are constantly aware of our physical and spiritual weaknesses, but we are also constantly being made new by Christ and the hope we have in his resurrection.
One of the most basic temptations we face is to be too focused on the present. We do this by making too much of our daily struggles and too little of our future joy in Christ. We do this by making too much of our daily successes and too little our future glory in Christ.
2 Cor. 4:17 makes two comparisons. Our afflictions are "light" in comparison to the "weight" of glory. Our afflictions are "momentary" in comparison to the "eternal" glory. But the Bible isn't saying we are to simply think of this a only a future hope. The main verb is present. Our daily struggles are presently producing eternal rewards.
The temptation of the present is we are often focused on the wrong things. Instead of seeing how Christ is forming us to be more patient, kind, and loving we only see our continued impatience, anger, and apathy. We miss the unseen spiritual world and instead focus on crossing off our to do list. In the eyes of the world we may have had a successful day. But did we do those things with grace and love or did we do whatever it takes to get the job done - never minding the people we stepped over along the way? Each day the Spirit is calling us to use everything in our lives, from the most mundane tasks to the most difficult challenges in life, so that Christ is more formed in us.
What we need in daily life is an eternal perspective so that we can see whatever is before us in its true light. When the Bible talks about this world passing away or how it is momentary in comparison to eternity, it is not saying the stuff of this world doesn't matter. It is calling us to see it as it really is and to see the things that are truly valuable. It is calling us to do things differently, to do them in the Spirit of Christ. To find joy in suffering knowing Christ died that we may have life. To find a way to work with his love and sacrifice rather than for our fading honor and glory.
Then we may know what it means when he says "my yoke is easy and by burden is light."