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  • Writer's pictureJoe Mayers

2 Corinthians 4:17- Think Forever Today

Updated: May 30

“For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory.”

The words “momentary,” “light,” and “affliction” don’t seem to work together. Light inconveniences, perhaps, or momentary discomforts. A papercut, unexpected traffic, a gently stubbed toe might fit into a category prefixed by “momentary” or “light.”

But “affliction”? This word carries the undertone of an uncommon hardship, and an ongoing one. There is nothing easy or brief about a cancer diagnosis, a divorce, or the death of a child. “Afflictions” are particular pains made all the more unbearable by their tendency to linger.

So what gave Paul the audacity to acknowledge substantial suffering, then name it “momentary” and “light”?

It was certainly not a lack of experience. The apostle was physically and spiritually afflicted from the time he was stricken blind on the road to Damascus to the moment he was beheaded in Rome. No, it was something else; something he was driven to even through the agony: a holy fixation on forever.

In contrast to the affliction, called momentary and light, Paul lauds the as-yet-unrevealed glory as eternal and weighty. The only conclusion is that the glory is so far greater in magnitude and endurance than anything we can currently imagine that everything else will fade by comparison. This does not negate our struggles. We have plenty of scriptures affirming the reality of grief and sorrow. Jesus himself met us (humanity) in our anguish. But this passage gives us a glimpse of the perfect, redeemed reality God has in store for us. Let us dwell on this today; and look forward to a time when all afflictions will pass away as we wade into an infinite ocean of glory.

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Mark Mayers
Mark Mayers
May 31

Reminds me of the same Saul-turned-Paul in this section of Romans 8:

[15] For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” [16] The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, [17] and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

[18] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. [19] For the creation waits with eager longing for…

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