TUESDAY 17TH JULY, 2018
THEME: MOMENTARY AFFLICTIONS
TEXT: 2 CORINTHIANS 4:1-18
MEMORY VERSE: 2 Corinthians 4:17 – For our light affliction, which is but for
a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory
Paul’s avowed intent as a Christian pilgrim on earth was not only to know Jesus and the power that raised Him from the dead but also to be conformed to His suffering. His testimonies of hardship and sufferings are well chronicled in his letters and the gospel account in Acts of the Apostles. He was beaten, stoned, imprisoned, shipwrecked and exposed to all sorts of perils but nowhere did he write that suffering is not painful. He admitted that he was hungry, thirsty, naked and betrayed.
Paul knew that suffering for the sake of Christ will ultimately result in being glorified with Him and so could look beyond his trials and attendant pains to the glory that awaits him. Compared to the eternal glory, on which Paul had his focus, the hardship of his trials on earth are inconsequential and temporal “for our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” How else do you describe a man who wrote from prison to encourage others to, “rejoice in the Lord always”?
Like Paul, whoever serves God with integrity will face trials. Persecutions can come from family, friends, colleagues and even brethren in the Church. Paul, in Philippians 1:29, says such suffering is a gift to Christians and should be embraced and cherished. Such was the belief of Frances Jane van Alstyne (Fanny Cosby) the blind hymn writer, poetess and teacher who wrote the popular hymn, “To God be the glory! Great things He hath done!” (EMHB 313)
Beloved, whatever affliction you are experiencing now is momentary. Endure the race set before you, “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the Cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2)
HYMN: EMHB 528 – IN HEAVENLY LOVE ABIDING
PRAYER: I trust in You Lord, let me not be put to shame.