Today’s reading: II Corinthians 4, 5, 6, Proverbs 12
II Cor. 4:16-18
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Each of us has faced our share of affliction. None of us is exempt from it. Recently, my family has experienced two major crises. So pardon me for writing this blog to myself today. One verse I am holding on to right now in the midst of our trouble is “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all” – Ps. 37:19. Praise God! What a promise. I encourage each of you going through difficulty to take hold of this verse with me.
In the passage mentioned above Paul teaches us how to make affliction work for us. That is quite a unique thought. I admit to you my thoughts about our personal affliction have been to get rid of it all ASAP. Until reading this passage I haven’t even considered making it work for me. How can we do that?
The first thing Paul tells us is to make the choice not to lose heart. Don’t quit, give up, or throw in the towel. Too many times we establish a breaking point in our minds where we tell ourselves and the devil that we will give up. That is like holding a red flag in front of a bull. Rather we should let God, ourselves, and the enemy know that nothing we deal with in this life will separate us from the love of God – Rom. 8:38-39. God’s grace is enough to see us through every temptation and tribulation we will ever face.
Second, he tells us to focus on our inward man. Spend time praying in the spirit and feeding on the Word of God. Keep your spirit man built up. Prov. 18:14 says the strong spirit of a man will sustain him in the midst of his infirmity.
Third, he encourages us to call our affliction light. Light? How can we possibly call our affliction light? You have no idea what we are going through right now Paul. No, he doesn’t, but God does and God inspired him to write this to us to make affliction work for us. The way to make our affliction light is to focus on eternal things and not temporary things.
The things we are going through are just temporary. I like to use my favorite passage of Scripture to describe this: “It came to pass.” It didn’t come to stay! Praise God. You are going to get through this. Jesus is still on the throne. Guard your heart from becoming overwhelmed in the midst of your trouble.
Drawing on God’s grace in the midst of your trial will get you through it without the smell of smoke and cause your affliction to work for you an eternal reward of His glory. Think about it.