Affliction

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.     

II Corinthians 4:17

 

There is a temptation to think our sufferings in this life are so great that they outweigh the glory awaiting us in the New Heavens and New Earth. 

 

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.   

Romans 8:18

 

The gift of salvation is so monumental words cannot contain or adequately describe it.

 

In this life, we see through a glass darkly so as to cloud the magnificence of salvation. Because our minds are so limited we cannot behold the glory of God. As a consequence we discount the greatness of the gift of salvation.

 

We also allow temporal worries, which are momentary to distract us from the beauty and glory that awaits the heirs of salvation.

 

This is understandable, given the pernicious nature of our flesh.

 

To combat our flesh God often brings upon His people painful affliction in order to break us down sufficiently to use us in his greater plan.

 

This was true of Paul, the Apostle.

 

The apostle Paul, whether in a vision or in his body was “…caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words…

II Corinthians 12:2-4 

 

God sent a messenger of Satan, a “thorn in the flesh” to buffet Paul in order that Paul would not “be exalted above measure…”

 

God had much more work for Paul, so He allowed Paul to be afflicted sufficiently to use him.

 

But, the Lord had a purpose for Paul’s affliction, to teach Paul and all believers that God’s grace is sufficient throughout affliction.

 

Through affliction the “life of Jesus Christ” is manifested within the body and life of Christ’s people.

 

For, it was through affliction Paul learned to “…take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses…” for the sake of Christ. Paul learned that when he was weak, then he was strong   

II Corinthians 12:9&10

 

God lovingly inflicts His beloved people with earthly thorns of affliction to teach them and to bring them to see the beauty and honor of salvation.

 

How else can we learn to despise our life this world and the things of this world, except through affliction?  

 

How else will the life of Jesus Christ be manifested in us, except through affliction?

 

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 

II Corinthians 4:7-10

 

Our fleshly love of this world is very powerful and fleshly lusts can cloud our minds, so as to hinder us from beholding the beauty and enormity of the gift of salvation.

 

God knows the power of our flesh and how it can hindering us from serving him fully, therefore God sends affliction, so that we not only better serve Him, but also that we are better able to see the unspeakable nature of His gift, the gift of salvation.

 

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift     

II Corinthians