for this light, momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison [2 corinthians 4:17]
life is brief. as we near the end of 2020, it seems like a whirlwind of isolation, masks, fear, social distancing, hypochondria, quarantine, zoom, and fist bumps is crawling by, lasting so much longer than anyone expected. yet when i look back at the year, i still think, “where has it gone?”
trials, in the moment, seem to never end, and without the lens of the gospel, we can easily turn to despair under the weight of life’s brokenness. but with our eyes fixed on the cross, our heart can be renewed daily, giving us an eternal hope in the midst of chaos, and give us a daily reminder of what life will be like at the end of brokenness, when we live in perfect union with our Maker, uninhibited by our fading, mortal, sinful flesh. we will see him with an unveiled face. we will know him as he knows us. we will be perfectly one with God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, and perfectly one with each other. and this is the purpose for which we were created. to worship him freely in the presence of his all satisfying glory. and, this is what makes heaven – heaven. it’s being in the physical presence of God. his glory will be fully seen, and as this verse says, it will be glory beyond all comparison.
the thought of this makes the weightiest trials of my life seem so trivial in contrast. not that these trials are pointless. no, they are preparing me for this eternal weight of glory. they are causing me to be renewed daily in my inner self, as I see more of God’s character through them, more of my sinful heart, making his grace for me more and more fully tasted and seen, refining me further and further, while the miracle of sanctification allows me to better reflect him.
the thought of this glory beyond all comparison also causes me to look at the sin which clings so closely to my heart and shake my head, wondering how on earth i could ever choose to hope in it rather than this all satisfying glory of my Savior. my life is but a blink of an eye. how could i waste even a minute chasing after fleeting pleasure with gratification that is so short lived and is always followed by regret? it pales in comparison to living in the satisfaction of his presence!
paul says in philippians 3:13-14, “i press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” the prize of God’s call is God himself. if we press on toward this goal, focusing our eyes on the prize of this eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, the distractions will fade in the periphery.
Father, thank you for your miracle of reconciliation. thank you for making me for you, and restoring in me, your glory. thank you for these fleeting trials that help me to see you and make me more like you. help me to see this world through your gospel. amen.