Text: II Corinthians 4/17
May The Lord bless you and give you understanding, as you partake of some Meat.
LIGHT AFFLICTION –
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Eternal weight of glory
II Cor 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.
The choice of words here in this verse of scripture, is very interesting to say the least.
The comparisons made are very revealing. First there is the LIGHT AFFLICTION which is but for the/a MOMENT.
Was Job’s affliction light? I cannot think of a greater Biblical example of affliction at its worst. The emotional toll of losing family and homestead, lock stock and barrel, we might say.
And then on top of this to be physically afflicted like Job was – we cannot as human beings – call this a light affliction.
Until perhaps we make comparisons. A comparison we might make is: it was a light affliction compared to the suffering of Hell – or – Gehenna.
John Baptist said of the Lord Jesus – the CHAFF would be burnt with unquenchable fire.
Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire
There’s no fire on earth that doesn’t at least have the potential of quenchability.
Job’s affliction was eventually quenched.
The next comparison which is the one I really want to make is ETERNITY v TIME.
The greatest statement I will ever make in my life is to say to you that I have experienced Eternity.
Ken Riddles a creation, or creature, a human being subject to time and all its limitations – I have tasted Eternity. I have been and can still go into the realm of eternity.
How can any earthly achievement compare with this?
People can stand and claim to make the greatest statement in their life when they say: ‘I won an Olympic Gold Medal’, ‘I played 10 years at the top of the Premiership’ or ‘I was a rag and bone man and I built an empire worth millions’.
Well yes – but I’ve experienced eternity.
In Hebrews 6/5 we read:
…and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,
All true Christians have tasted the power(s) of the age to come. That’s eternity.
And the reality of that statement enabled the Apostle Paul to say near the end of this life: ‘I have fought the fight, I have kept the faith’
Why? Because he experienced Eternity. He experienced the eternal life to come, here in the time zone
Paul also tells us: ’I cant make up my mind – Im caught between the two – having a desire to depart and be with Christ which is far better.
What’s far better? Answer: the life to come. What’s the life to come? –
If you through the Spirit put to death the deeds of the flesh you shall live. Because in my flesh there is NO good thing. In light of the ‘no good thing’ in the flesh – the earthly realm. – the sinful realm – the limited realm – the realm subject to the limitations of time – would you not prefer ‘…every good and perfect gift’– that comes down from above (the eternal realm)?
(why not search the truth here stated in the above paragraph – perfectly stated – in scripture – by searching it on biblegateway.com)
We are all (as Christians) made partakers of the Divine nature – what kind of nature? Divine – what kind is that? – Eternal.
The great mystery of the after life – is there an after life? Yes! How do you know? IVE TASTED IT.
Taste and see – that the Lord is good. (Psalm 34/8)
Eternity has invaded time – many times – you ought to be there when it happens – to secure your ETERNAL FUTURE.
When the church meets it is the most unique gathering on earth – because time is invaded by eternity.
NOW TAKE IN this wonderful amalgam of Bible verse truth:
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood – HAS ETERNAL LIFE IN HIM.(Jn 6/54).
And THIS IS ETERNAL Life – THAT THEY MAY KNOW YOU the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. (Jn. 17 /3) Eternal now and eternal to come.
LAY HOLD ON ETERNAL LIFE. (I Timothy 6/12).
How can you fulfil this scripture if Eternity is not available now…in other words how can you ‘lay hold of it?’
Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with ETERNAL GLORY (II Timothy 2/10)
But the gift of God is ETERNAL life through Our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 6/23)
…WHO THROUGH THE ETERNAL SPIRIT offered himself to God (Hebrews 9/14).
Experience the Eternal Spirit and you have experienced the Eternal Life of God.
John tells us that this ETERNAL LIFE WAS MANIFESTED TO US…i.e. eternal manifest in the realm of time.
I John 1/2: the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us.
Then another revealing scripture….I John 3/15 – Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has ETERNAL LIFE ABIDING IN HIM.
The secondary INFERENCE being that eternal life can abide in a child of God.
And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God AND ETERNAL LIFE. I Jn. 5/20.
John 3/36 …believeth on the son HATH (has) (NOW IN TIME) EVERLASTING LIFE.
Rev 14/6 we have the gospel and even it is called THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL.
We cannot understand eternity – only in part. We know it is forever.
One hundred years compared to eternity is a vapour of passing smoke in comparison.
In comparison with eternity it isn’t even a milli-second. There is no comparison.
(Look at II Corinthians 4/17 again).
Think AGAIN of the words used here LIGHT, MOMENT, FAR MORE, EXCEEDING and to really drive the point home God adds ETERNAL.
Just in case you are not getting that ANY AFFLICTION we have is LIGHTER, for a VERY SHORT TIME, that it’s not really very much – God adds this word = ETERNAL. Compared with THE ETERNAL …’our light affliction …is but for a moment’.
1,000 years in comparison with Eternity is but a moment. In fact a 1,000 years with the Lord is as one day!
2 Peter 3:8
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.
Light affliction – eternal weight. That’s the comparison.
This WEIGHT in this passage – and this is another revelation – this weight is ETERNAL. Not measured by earthly means of time.
This WEIGHT is described as A FAR MORE EXCEEDING …
Can we understand this weight?
No because he adds the word we cant fully understand yet…i.e.…Eternal.
And the best news?…weight of GLORY!
The ETERNAL CLOUD of Glory comes and rests upon these earthly TABERNACLES OF AFFLICTION we live in.
With that weight we can actually feel physically weak.
FLESH AND BLOOD CANNOT INHERIT this eternal glory!
1 Corinthians 15:50
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
It’s contrary to the flesh, it is of this time zone.
The flesh gives way under the pressure of this eternal weight. (cpr. Ananias and Sapphira):
Acts 5/5: And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
That’s why people fall under the weight of God’s presence.
They couldn’t stand to minister:
1 Kings 8:11
So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord.
The flesh can’t handle God. The flesh must subside and is humbled when the weight of glory comes.
The flesh must decrease. Only thus will the GLORY INCREASE.
That’s why we are called to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
The working of The Eternal God’s hand in this life can transform a
MANSLAYER, changing him so that he becomes the MEEKEST MAN IN ALL THE EARTH (search Moses life story).
He had decreased from his own natural carnal ABILITY TO THINK.
His own thinking had cost him the promised land. And there is much we are not conscious of that is of our flesh, (sinful nature or of our natural thinking).
And when it’s pointed out we too often don’t see it, don’t see our sinfulness.
So God decreases our dependency on our natural minds
– by using the decreasing times of affliction to reveal more of Himself. (Where does my help come from? My help comes from The Lord.)Psalm 121/1.
Major or minor affliction is unfortunately part of this world, it’s source is a secondary consideration to the good God is able to bring out of it – God will deliver us out of them all.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
What is that affliction? It can be anything. But the end result is a humbling of self.
But if we rise up and rush on taking on again and living again by our own way of thinking – we shall be self-afflicted until we let this mind be in us which was also in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2/5)
And each dealing of God works for us not against us. What does it work? A FAR MORE EXCEEDING AND ETERNAL WEIGHT OF GLORY.
Do you want a greater weight of Glory? Then repent of what is obvious and if not obvious – humble yourself under the affliction and the greater weight of eternal glory will come, through patience.
2 Corinthians 5:19
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
Here we have read that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself and now the weight of Glory in us (who are reconciled by accepting and following Christ) – doing the same thing, i.e. reconciling us to The Lord on a daily restoration basis.
I refer, of course, to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
We suffer because of our own sinful thinking that works independently of God.
We rush ahead in a pseudo-spiritual state of being, doing our own thing sometimes in God’s name.
REMEMBER MARTHA? Luke 10.
And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
Martha you’re doing a great job your hands are full of serving everyone else – but your just not getting it Martha – YOU THINK they should be lifting the load.
‘Sorry Martha’ he was indicating with empathy and compassion – but you are missing completely one thing – my word must take the place of your thinking. That is what Mary was looking for, i.e. the word of God’s thinking.
Those under the affliction of slavery will accuse those around them of laziness and not caring: ’LORD DO YOU NOT CARE?’
Martha was afflicted with anxiety and worry – she carried the wrong weights.
We are not promised a carefree life without anything happening that could be described as ‘affliction’ – we are promised that God is able to deliver us.
With that we can also be assured that He is able to transform us through the furnace, changing us and revealing more of Himself, as we seek His help, Mercy, and developing hand in our life.
The far more exceeding and ETERNAL weight of Glory will increase upon our lives as like Paul we can say: ’I die daily’ to partake of a greater measure of His Life giving Spirit.