“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 Real
Paul writing to the Corinthian brethren made the point that affliction and suffering are things which we all share. Notice that he said, “Our affliction.” When suffering, it is extremely easy to falsely conclude and feel that you are the only one who is troubled so. Howbeit, when Jezebel had given the order for all the prophets of the Lord to be slain (1 Kg. 18:4, 13), Elijah came to the false conclusion that he was all alone in his trouble and fled for his life (1 Kg. 18:22; 19:14). However, his calculations were way off. God told him, “Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him” (1 Kg. 19:18). There is comfort and encouragement in knowing that we are not alone in our trials of affliction. “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12). We have faithful brethren all around the world who suffer the same afflictions we do (1 Pet. 5:9; Acts 14:22). If they can overcome with God’s help, then so can we!
Our Affliction is Light
Our light affliction indicates that our suffering is really not heavy. Therefore, our affliction is bearable. I know you are asking yourself what type of suffering is light. Understand, the apostle Paul is somewhat of an expert on the subject of suffering (2 Cor. 4:8-12; 11:23-28). He not only calls his suffering light, but ours also. The late Thomas B. Warren, faithful Gospel preacher, writer, debater, and defender of bible truth once made a few inspiring observations under this point. He said, “Suffering is light compared to what Jesus endured, suffering is light compared to what we really deserve, and suffering is light compared to the glories of heaven.” This is so true. Suffering truly is light when we give it spiritual thought. Never forget that suffering can also be beneficial. It has the inherit inclination of driving us in the direction of our Lord (2 Cor. 12:7-10). That benefit alone minimizes our affliction and categorizes it as a very light and necessary thing.