Are you going through some pain right now? Do you feel like you are a long way from anything remotely glorious? You are not alone. I hope that this verse will encourage you; it is a passage that has always made me shake my head in amazement. In this verse, Paul talks about his suffering, and he describes it as minor, and temporary. Here it is in context:
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles 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
Light and momentary?!? I don’t know if you have read Acts or Paul’s letters recently, but Paul’s suffering would not be categorized as ‘light’ in most people’s books. He was arrested, beaten, hounded and hassled throughout his apostolic career, as he explained later in the letter. And yet, he could write this with honesty and truth: “It’s manageable, really!” I think the key to his attitude was his understanding of eternity. As he looked at his problems with Heaven and eternity in mind, then it truly was just a temporary inconvenience on the long, unending path of joy. Paul was so fixated on the invisible and eternal reality that he was hardly even distracted by the circumstances around him.
How about you? Are you able to look past today’s drudgery and disappointments? Are you able to see through the pain and clearly focus on the endless joy to come? We are guaranteed to have trouble and difficulties in this life, but we are overcomers! Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
I think that’s what Jesus meant when he described the plan He had for His followers: “My yoke is pleasant and my burden is light.” This is the same Greek word for “Light.” I think the next step to understanding His words is to understand that the yoke is only good and comfortable if you are content to humbly walk in His footsteps. Kicking and straining will just make it more difficult and more discouraging. But if you let go of your own agenda and simply submit to the yoke, then you will find that it is manageable, after all.
So, if you are walking through a dark valley right now, keep walking. Your burden may seem too heavy to carry. Your pain may seem permanent. But it isn’t. It is temporary. It is all temporary. There is only one Constant, and He is always there for you. Keep walking, humbly and obediently, and your suffering will be manageable.
And, best of all, it will end!
Let us know – what words of encouragement do you have? We are all here for each other.