“For our light and momentary affliction [troubles] are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:17 NIV
Troubles can either make us or they can break us. They can either make us bitter or better. They can either cause us to become filled with pride [not willing to ask anyone for help] or they can make us humble [total surrender, trusting and depending on God]
Whatever the outcome, the choice is entirely up to you. No one can make the decision for you. You make it for yourself. Therein is the power of choice that you [yes, you] have full control over.
It is not your mama’s fault, so quit blaming her for what you are going through. It’s not because you grew up without your papa, so stop whining and complaining about that.
No doubt you felt your world crumbled when your spouse cheated and walked out on you. Get over it!
Your heart is broken. Your pain is immense because your son or daughter is acting wild and out of control – the same child who was raised up in church and never missed a day at Sunday school or summer bible school.
You are overcome with grief and sadness by your sudden loss. You have been in and out of the doctor’s office – one thing after another. No medical insurance and the bills are just getting higher. A family member is stricken with cancer or some other debilitating disease. You are at a low point.
The list of troubles goes on. You have done all that you possibly can do. You have prayed and you have been waiting for the ‘tidal wave and tsunami of affliction’ to cease its violent attack upon your life.
WHAT IF I TOLD YOU?
…we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16 NIV
What if I told you that affliction – applying of pressure, burdens of the spirit, tribulation, distress, anguish and suffering are a part of everyday Christian life?
What if I told you that it is inevitable that the Christian will suffer many things as he is being conformed to Christ’s image?
What if I told you that from my own experience, as you are going through your deep, dark valley, it can and will seem like an eternity?
What if I told you, don’t lose heart?
Stop right there! Heard enough of that stuff!
BUT YOU DON’T REALLY KNOW MY STORY!
‘Well, whoever calls affliction ‘light’ must be out of their mind and have no clue what affliction is about!’ exclaimed one person. ‘That’s true,’ the other replied. ‘All these preaching stuff about light affliction, I don’t get it. If he only knew my story or been through affliction, he would not be talking this way.’
‘Exactly my point,’ says another; ‘if he had been as poor as I am having to work three jobs just to make ends meet taking care of my family, and still barely able to make my way at the end of the day, he would not have written about our light affliction.’
Another said, ‘If he had been in my shoe as I stood over that open grave that cold winter afternoon as the bullet riddled body of my son was lowered in his casket, and I felt my heart stop beating for a moment, he would not have been speaking in this manner.’
The conversation continued. ‘He is clueless about what it feels like feeling rejected, desolate and forsaken like I have been. Because if he did, he would think twice about writing about ‘our light affliction.’
Silence then filled the room…..
“So we fix our eyes on what is not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is seen is eternal.” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV
A CHANGE OF HEART
Be reminded like I am today, that precious gems, silver, gold and other precious jewels are processed by the use of tremendous pressure and heat. Some have to be hammered, others heated but all have to be placed under extreme pressure in order for them to become beautiful and priceless in the eyes of the beholder.
Olive oil, virgin or extra virgin oil, is the end result of the olive being crushed, processed and refined. The finest wines are the end result of the grapes being crushed, stomped upon and processed into a light spirit that we find so appealing to our taste buds.
Wearing wrinkled clothes I can tell you is not cute. Our suffering, trials and pressures of life is therefore likened to these and is meant to iron out our wrinkles and our imperfections, and to make us as the bride of Christ wrinkle free and without blemish or spot.
God do not conform to and will never be confined to earthly time and therefore He calls our affliction and troubles light and momentary. He allows us to grow through the furnace of affliction and tribulation to create His image in us.
God has a purpose and a plan for all that He allow us to experience. It seems unfair of course and moreover, to commit yourself, your circumstances and to trust Him completely might be easier said than done. But surrendering your all to Him is the only thing that will get you through all that you are suffering.
TESTIMONIES OF HOPE
My experiences in life going through a very traumatic separation and divorce, suicidal, at bankruptcy door waiting on the hand out of others, feeling like an outcast, rejected and despised, homeless, friendless, tasting death and trials like a bitter gall on numerous occasions left me numb and at times finding myself in the fetal position groaning to the point I felt lifeless. Nevertheless, God has proved Himself faithful and I have finally learned to trust Him with what I go through on a daily basis.
The Apostle Paul who wrote on ‘our light affliction’ have been through far more in-depth afflictions than any of us have ever been… “in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths often. Thrice was I beaten with rod, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and day have I been in the deep; in journeying often, in perils of water, in perils of robbers, in perils by my own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in wilderness and painfulness, in watching often, in hunger and thirst, in fasting often, in cold and nakedness.”
The catalog of his affliction – perfectly appalling, yet hopeful and encouraging!
“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly……by his wounds you have been healed.” ~ 1 Peter 2:21-24 NIV
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