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“Our Light Affliction”
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17)
There is a very real sense in which all those things that cause us great pain and sorrow may be looked upon as “our light affliction.”
World of Sorrow
So long as we live in this world of sin, we will live in a world of sorrow. Here, we must never expect to be free of suffering, adversity, and pain. It is written, “We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).
I am redeemed, justified, and sanctified by the blood of Christ. I am saved, born again, and forgiven of all my sin by the grace of God. I am an heir of God and joint-heir with Jesus Christ, an heir of heaven’s eternal glory. But as long as I live in this world I will have to deal with pain, affliction, and heartache. My body is subject to sickness, disease, pain, decay, and death, just like anyone else’s. God’s children, in the process of time, grow old, get sick, and die, just like all other people.
Our God plainly tells us that whatever comes to pass in my life is his will (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Nothing in this universe happens by chance, or luck, or blind fate. All that comes to pass, be it good or bad, prosperous or adverse, both the great and the small, is ordained by my God and governed by our heavenly Father for our spiritual and eternal good (Romans 8:28; 11:36). I may not be able to see what God’s good purpose is in a given situation at the present time, but…
“In heaven’s clearer light I’ll see,
All things worked out for good!”
Whatever my heavenly Father does, he does because of his infinite, mercy, love, and grace toward me, because of his great goodness, never because he is angry with me, never because he is punishing me!
Our heavenly Father uses the rod of love to chasten and correct his erring child; but he never uses the rod of his justice to punish us, to satisfy his wrath and anger because of our sins. He punished our sins to the full satisfaction of his holy justice in Christ.
Whatever the Lord my God does to me and with me, whatever he ordains to be done to me and with me is best. It is enough for me to know that he who rules this world is my loving, ever-gracious, all-wise, and good heavenly Father. I do not need to know what he is doing or why, only that he is the One doing it! Believing God, it is my soul’s great joy and comfort to trust his wisdom, power, love, and goodness. It is written, “There shall no evil befall thee” (Psalm 91:10). — “There shall no evil happen to the just” (Proverbs 12:21).
“Our times are in His hand. Why should we doubt or fear?
Our Father’s hand will never cause His child a needless tear!”