For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (2 Corinthians 4:17).
One brother may say, "Light affliction! You mean that suffering at the hands of my co-workers because I am a Christian, is light affliction? They reject me, slander and mock me day after day. How can I keep from worrying about these things?"
A young Christian teen may say, "Ever since I became a member of the church, my school friends have left me. They will not invite me to go with them anywhere because they know I will not participate in the things they do. That is hard to endure when we were so close before. I worry about losing my friends."
The heart of a young mother whose husband has not embraced the truth may be torn because her husband is trying to undermine the teaching she is giving the children. She may be the object of mockery or rejection by her relatives and in-laws or by her own children. How can she endure and focus on the eternal things when her earthly trials are so traumatic day after day? How can she keep from worrying?
The Apostle Paul was the one speaking in 2 Corinthians 4:17 and the trials which he endured, to most of us today, would have seemed to be anything but light. These trials consisted of want (maybe even near starvation), danger, contempt, stoning, toil, weariness, and the scorn of the world. He was constantly exposed to the threat of death by land and by sea (2 Cor. 4:7-10; 2 Cor. 11:23-27). Yet these trials, even though they continued many years, were spoken of as light when compared with that eternal glory which awaited him. He dealt with them as they came and did not worry or wavier in his faith. Trials had followed him ever since he began to preach the Gospel, and he expected that they would follow him to the end of life (Acts 20:23). Yet, all this was a momentary trifle compared with the eternal glory before him.
We also need to focus on the eternal glory that awaits us rather than the temporary burdens so that we can win the battle against Satan. If we allow ourselves to worry and fret about the temporary, those things will overshadow the eternal. We cannot gain the victory that way.
Published in The Old Paths Archive