Our Affliction (Part 2)
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:17).
Our Affliction is Short
No one likes suffering or experiencing difficult days. It is an unwelcomed part of life. Suffering causes grief and can at times seem like an eternity dragging on and on. But in reality, suffering lasts a very short time. Life is full of affliction but a full lifetime has very little suffering because our time on earth is short-lived. Job said, “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble” (14:1). James said, “For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (4:14). In comparison to eternity which never ends, a life lived for 1000 years would not even be a drop in a bucket. “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Pet. 3:8). Time matters little to the eternal God. “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night” (Ps. 90:4). The same will be true of us in eternity. 100,000 years or 100,000,000 years are nothing in scheme of eternity. Therefore, if we lived 500 years and suffer every single day, our suffering would have been short because life on earth is short.
Our Affliction is Beneficial
It is a strenuous thing trying to see the bright side in suffering. I doubt if anyone would if it were not for God’s word of encouragement and comfort (Ps. 23:4; Rom. 15:4; 2 Cor. 1:3-5). Through his words of spiritual insight we see the importance, necessity, and benefits of suffering. Our Lord faithfully suffered for us (Heb. 2:9-10,18; 4:15; 5:8). It is important and necessary for us to also learn how. “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us” (2 Tim. 2:11-12). Faithfully suffering through adversity and affliction makes us stronger and molds our character in the likeness of our Lord (1 Pet. 2:20-21; 4:16). “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes” (Ps. 119:71). Suffering is the fundamental reason why the prodigal son came to himself, repented, and went back home (Luke 15:11-24). Suffering reminds us that this world is not our permanent dwelling and intensifies our longing for heaven (2 Cor. 4:18-5:1; Heb. 13:14). Our affliction really is beneficial to us all.