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2 Corinthians 4:17
When you’re hurting, when your heart is broken, when you don’t know what to do or where to turn, and you read those words, “our light affliction,” you might be tempted to slam you Bible shut and throw it on the floor. — Before you do that, try to remember these five things.
1. Our afflictions are light when compared with what we deserve (Psalm 103:8-14). — We could be cast off in reprobation. God could have left us alone. We could be in heathen darkness. We could be in hell (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11)
2. Our afflictions are light when compared to that which others have suffered before us. — Men and women all over the world suffer the same things we do. Why should I be any different? Most people in this world suffer much, much more than I do. Why should I complain? God’s people in this world have always been a suffering people (Hebrews 11). — Shall I expect to live in ease?
“Must I be carried to the skies
On flowery beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through bloody seas?”
The most gracious, most thoughtful, most caring and tender people I’ve known in this world have been people who seemed never to live a day without great pain and heaviness.
3. Truly, our afflictions are light when compared to that which our Lord Jesus Christ suffered for us (Hebrews 12:3-4; Isaiah 53:6-11; Psalm 22:1-16; 40:12; 69:1-19; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13).
When I know the agony of body and soul, the torments of heart, the bloody sweat which my Savior endured for me, how can I complain about my “light affliction”? I ought to be able, by the grace of God, to endure my “light affliction” with patience for the honor of my blessed Redeemer who suffered so much for me.
4. Our afflictions are light when compared to the countless blessings of grace our God has bestowed upon us (1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 1:3-14; 1 John 3:1-3). — Eternal, Covenant Blessings! —Daily, Providential Blessings! — Saving, Gospel Blessings! — “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.” (Philippians 1:29)
5. Our afflictions are light when compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. — This is exactly what Paul had in mind when he called our affliction in this world, “our light affliction.” Oh, how light my afflictions are when compared to that which I shall enjoy when the Lord calls me home!