The apostle Paul, because of his unwavering faith in our savior Jesus Christ, was severely persecuted by those who were so adamantly opposed to the gospel. He was beaten with rods and was stoned. He suffered shipwreck three times and was frequently imprisoned. He suffered pain, hunger and nakedness (II Corinthians 11:23-27).
Yet notice how Paul described his persecution when writing to the church at Corinth. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).
It’s not possible to read these verses without two words jumping out at you, grabbing you by the collar and demanding your attention – light affliction! How could Paul possibly describe his beatings, stonings, imprisonment, pain, and hunger as light affliction? Paul is painting an obvious contrast between his temporary life on this earth and his eternal life in heaven. While he describes his affliction as light, he describes the glory of heaven as weighty. Paul knew his affliction was but for a moment – temporary, while the glory of heaven is eternal. Paul knew any suffering he experienced on earth because of his faith in the gospel would pale in comparison to the blessing of eternity in heaven.
Friends, this is true for us also! No sensible person would deny that life on this earth has its difficulties and trying times. But whatever they may be, any difficulties we experience while on earth will pale in comparison to the blessing of an eternity in heaven.
Today, I will ask God to carry me through any difficulties I may face, knowing that heaven will surely be worth it all!