“But for a Moment”

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” —II Corinthians 4:17,18

AT THE beginning of a new year, the minds of all are centered more or less on the thought of time, of time that is passing—that another year has slipped away, bringing us that much nearer to the end of the present span of life. While we can rejoice in anticipation of God’s blessings throughout the new year, we should also realize the seriousness of the responsibilities which are upon us as followers of the Master, and face the coming days with the determination that we will, by God’s grace, try harder than ever before to discharge those responsibilities.

Fully consecrated Christians should be the happiest people on earth, for no matter what their circumstances in life may be they are certain, under divine guidance, to work for their very best spiritual interests. However, our joys are not because the Lord shields us from trials and provides us with a carefree life. God has not promised to do these things for us, but he has promised that regardless of what our experiences may be his overruling providence will cause them to be assets rather than liabilities—that they will work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

Paul speaks of our light affliction, which is but for a moment, and then contrasts this with an exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Any affliction which we may have, therefore, is light when contrasted with the weight of glory which will be ours if faithful, and ours for eternity instead of but for a moment. What better thought than this could we have as we begin the year 1985? We will have afflictions, yes, but how light they will be, and how brief in duration. True, they may last all the year. Perhaps we have been enduring some of our afflictions throughout many years of the past, and their weight is still upon us. But even so, when contrasted with the eternal glories which have been promised to those who are faithful even unto death, they are light indeed, and momentary.

Throughout 1985, by the self-sacrifice of the brethren, the truth will be reaching millions. It is not expected that many will accept it and consecrate themselves to the Lord; but large numbers are being comforted, and are learning to know our great and loving God a little better. The attitude of the vast majority is one of indifference. Let us be watchful lest this attitude have a chilling effect upon our zeal and self-sacrifice in proclaiming the message. From some standpoints, indifference to the truth is more difficult to endure than outright opposition, hence we should be well fortified against this method of attack by the adversary.

Irrespective of how much or how little persecution there may be during 1985, and regardless of how much we may sacrifice in the way of time and strength and means in order to forward the interests of the kingdom, our afflictions will be light, oh, so very light, when compared with the eternal weight of glory which shall be revealed in us who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. The world, noting that we are not interested in its ways and that we shun its pleasures, will think us very impractical and unwise, but we will not be influenced by this, for we will know that they are looking at the things which are seen, and we know that these are very temporary, even as the year that has just passed.

Our rejoicing, on the other hand, is due to the fact that we are looking at the things which are not seen by the natural eye—those spiritual values which can be appreciated only by the eye of faith. And how precious to us are those unseen things! Perhaps the most valuable of all is the hope of being made in the likeness of our Heavenly Father. John wrote concerning this, Not yet hath it been made manifest what we shall be, we know that if it should be made manifest, like unto him shall we be, because we shall see him [God] just as he is.” (I John 3:1-3, Rotherham) The natural eye cannot see, nor can the natural mind grasp the glory of God, but we know that if faithful we shall be raised to be like him, and in this we rejoice.

And while rejoicing in this hope, we glory, or triumph in tribulation—our light affliction—because we know that it is working out for us the fruition of our glorious hope of being with Jesus and sharing in the work of his kingdom. (Rom. 5:3) Let us be determined that by. God’s grace we will triumph in every affliction we encounter during the year; and, if still this side the veil, may the year’s end find us zealously pressing on in the narrow way of self-sacrifice, more determined than ever to be faithful unto death and thus to receive the crown of life.—Rev. 2:10

Dawn Bible Students Association
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