2 Corinthians 4:16-18, “Therefore we do not become discouraged (utterly spiritless, exhausted, and wearied out through fear). Though our outer man is [progressively] decaying and wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day after day. For our light, momentary affliction (this slight distress of the passing hour) is ever more and more abundantly preparing and producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight of glory [beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease!], Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting.” (AMP).
One of my nieces had an interesting method of weight control. She would eat what she wanted for a while, and then suddenly she would reverse all engines for a day or two. She would announce, “Today is a Slim Fast day!” Which translates, drink diet milk shakes three times a day. However, when you like to eat like I do, drinking all three meals a day is not very satisfying in my book.
Well, one day I was out running errands and my niece went with me. We stopped at this bagel store, and I came back to the car with the aroma of fresh bagels. (One of the great aromas in the world might I add!) I said to my niece, “I’m sorry I did this today, I know how much you love bagels.” She said, “Auntie, don’t worry about it, I can handle it. It’s only one day, it’s only for a moment.“
In our text of 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, Paul is writing his perspective on the mountain of suffering that he was experiencing. It sounds a little bit like the niece I know that would deprive herself of food…for a short time.
Here’s what it says in another version, “Therefore we do not lose heart…” Wow! In spite of all Paul went through, not losing heart is major! Some of us go through nowhere near what he suffered and endured, and yet Paul encourages us by how he encouraged himself, “…we do not lose heart…”
He then says, “…Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles…” (Get that? “…light and momentary troubles…” In other words, this load as heavy as it is, will not crush you, believe it or not, it is but a light thing and as long as you’ve been going through it, it is still but momentary!) The word ‘light‘ is defined as, ‘of little weight; deficient in weight; not strongly or heavily built; not profound or serious.’ And the word, ‘momentary‘ is defined as, ‘very brief or short-lived.’ That’s how Paul describes our troubles! And does he have the credibility to do so? Absolutely! Just listen to Paul’s LIGHT AND MOMENTARY TROUBLES that he describes just seven chapters later:
2 Corinthians 11:21-29, “…(I can’t believe I’m saying these things. It’s crazy to talk this way! But I started, and I’m going to finish.) I’ve worked much harder, been jailed more often, beaten up more times than I can count, and at death’s door time after time. I’ve been flogged five times with the Jews’ thirty-nine lashes, beaten by Roman rods three times, pummeled with rocks once. I’ve been shipwrecked three times, and immersed in the open sea for a night and a day. In hard traveling year in and year out, I’ve had to ford rivers, fend off robbers, struggle with friends, struggle with foes. I’ve been at risk in the city, at risk in the country, endangered by desert sun and sea storm, and betrayed by those I thought were my brothers. I’ve known drudgery and hard labor, many a long and lonely night without sleep, many a missed meal, blasted by the cold, naked to the weather. And that’s not the half of it, when you throw in the daily pressures and anxieties of all the churches…” (MSG)
WHEN SOMEONE WITH THAT AS THEIR TESTIMONY TELLS YOU THAT YOUR TROUBLES ARE ONLY LIGHT AND MOMENTARY, YOU BELIEVE THEM!
The text goes on to say: “…are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV).
The Message Bible puts it like this: “So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.” (MSG)
That’s what you call encouragement! Whatever you’re dealing with, Paul says to treat it as “…here today, gone tomorrow…light and momentary!”
Remember, Every Storm Eventually Runs Out of Rain! Things Will Begin to Clear Up and Clear Out Sooner Than You Think!
Keep in Mind: “…Weeping may stay all night, but by morning, joy!” (Psalm 30:5 CEB).
Paul continues that same theme from 2 Corinthians 4 in Romans 8:18. He says, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (NIV). The Common English Bible says it like this: “But if we are children, we are also heirs. We are God’s heirs and fellow heirs with Christ, if we really suffer with him so that we can also be glorified with him. I believe that the present suffering is nothing compared to the coming glory that is going to be revealed to us. The whole creation waits breathless with anticipation for the revelation of God’s sons and daughters. Creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice—it was the choice of the one who subjected it—but in the hope that the creation itself will be set free from slavery to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of God’s children.” (Romans 8:17-21 CEB).
Remember: “…the present suffering is nothing compared to the coming glory…” Remind Yourself Daily: What’s Coming is Better Than What’s Been!
The key here is a little thing called Perspective. The description I love on “Perspective” is “a particular way of regarding something based on its relative importance.” In other words, it’s how important it is to you! How do you view it? How do you see it? What is its importance? And like Paul, when you compare the temporal to the eternal and the pain to the glory, the cross to the crown, the crushing to the oil, you will also conclude that what you are going through is nothing compared to what God has planned to come to pass! It’s likened to trouble lasting “One Day”!
When you look at the comparisons you’ll begin to say: “Okay, if this is all there is, I can handle it.” You see, compared to a forever without pain and with incredible rewards for the faithful, our suffering is only for a day. So no matter what or who you have to face, face it and them with the same attitude: “I can handle it.“
Believe it or not, but your loving Lord knows you are under a very heavy load of hurt right now. And as always, He shares your pain. He has seen your tears, He cares about your suffering because He’s familiar with it! Philippians 2:5-8, “Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.” (MSG)
If no one knows what’s it’s like to endure suffering and pain it is Jesus!
He knows sometimes you feel like this is just more than I can handle. Which is why He lovingly says to you today: Matthew 11:28-30, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (MSG)
I’m here today to remind you that it isn’t always going to be like this. This isn’t forever; not compared to how long you will live through eternity with your Savior in peace. In fact, compared to that, it’s not long at all.
There’s a little phrase that a sister in church taught me to say as a babe in Christ whenever I was faced with hardship. She would say, “Just remember: TTSP!” The glorious truth: This Too Shall Pass! And that’s the truth about this dark valley you’re going through-This Too Shall Pass. Maybe you have lost someone close to you recently, and the grief is heavy, but it is temporary. There’s a reunion coming. This is only an interruption in your relationship. The pain of your situation is real; maybe even devastating. But praise God there’s an eternal healing coming. The Bible still says, “…Weeping may be for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).
Get Ready Because There is Still a Morning Coming After Your Mourning!
I know it feels like the marriage won’t get better, the children won’t improve, your finances won’t increase, your health won’t change, the job won’t come through, the business won’t start, the ministry is struggling. But truth is still truth, TTSP: This Too Shall Pass! It’s but for a moment, it’s temporal, it’s in comparison to just One Night! You can handle this!
In Christ there is a four-letter word that makes the worst earth stuff bearable-HOPE. And the hope will last much longer than the hurt! You have in Jesus a Savior who has lived the pain. Hebrews 12:2 says, “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (NIV). The Message Bible says it like this: “Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” (Hebrews 12:1-3 MSG).
Nutshell: Temporal Pain, Permanent Joy!
People of God, if you just look at today’s suffering, you’re going to stagger under the load. But if you can lift your eyes and look at the short way down the road, you’ll be a winner even with your wounds. For just beyond this valley there is a Savior waiting with His arms wide open, waiting to welcome you to the forever He has planned for you. And you will hear Him say, “It’s over, my child. You have born your pain as I did. Now, enter the kingdom I’ve prepared for you. I’ve been waiting on your arrival.“
Oh, I know it hurts now, but hold on and hold out, in comparison to what’s coming, it’s only for a day.
BE REASSURED, WHAT’S COMING IS SO MUCH BIGGER, BETTER AND GREATER THAN WHAT’S BEEN!
Much Love, Dr. Shermaine #EnjoyTheRead #BeInspired #BeEncouraged #BeEmpowered #BeChallenged #ShareTheWord
Feel free to also join us at: http://www.selfcarewithdrshermaine.blogspot.com Today’s Lesson: “7 Ways to Protect Your Mental Health During the Coronavirus Pandemic”
Feel free to join us at: http://www.chefshermainesbiblecafe.home.blog Today’s Chef Special Word “ONE WHO FEARED GOD”
LETS STAY CONNECTED!
Daily Dose With Dr. Shermaine: https://dailydosewithdrshermaine.wordpress.com
Facebook: DrShermaine Franklin-Sanders