This week concludes our study in the Foundations series, where we have examined how our foundation of faith has impacted the details of our living. Next week, we will begin several weeks of stand-alone messages, along with daily devotionals, so be sure to check back daily. If these devotionals have had an impact on you, we would love for you to share them with your friends.
This Present Tense
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 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. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Most Christians would rather see what is ahead of them down the road, especially when they are facing trials, suffering and difficulties. Suffering causes us to cry out, “How much longer?” or “How much more do I have to take?” or “Will this ever end?”
Paul was well acquainted with prolonged suffering, physical, emotional, spiritual pain ran throughout his life. Yet he refers to all his trials as momentary light affliction. His secret? He developed the habit of lifting his eyes above the horizon of discomfort, distress and hardship. His was no high-minded denial of reality. It was his hard times that exhibited the grace of God. He viewed his whole life in light of the greatness of God, from that place of perspective all difficulty shrank in the presence of God.
Our life should be showcasing the sweetness of God. Maybe we even confess that it doesn’t make sense that we face such tough situations when we are doing our best to walk with God. Psalm 34:19 exposes that “many are the afflictions of the righteous,” and often we are so caught off guard that we fail to read the last part of that verse, which says, “But the Lord delivers him out of them.”
When we have the right perspective on life, we can handle trials one day at a time. Once we see with those eyes, then we realize there is no comparison of our temporary trials and suffering to the eternal glory that God has in store for us.
Circumstances are the means God uses to reveal how wonderfully perfect and extraordinarily beautiful Jesus is in this present tense. With each trial and conflict there comes a new way to manifest the Son of God in our mortal life.
Dear Father, may the struggles of my life never make me bitter, but instead make me better at anticipating Your glory. Amen