2 Corinthians 4:17
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
The sewer began to run slow. It ran so slow that it backed up a little when he ran a load of wash and worried him when he took a shower. Tim contacted a plumber and had the sewer augured out. It turned out that the oak tree in his front yard had roots in the sewer. The auger chopped through them and the sewer flowed freely. It rained the next day and water flowed into the sewer through the drain in the patio. So much rain came that a clogged sewer would have meant water in the basement. The inconvenience of a slow drain was nothing compared to the major headache of a flooded basement. So it is with life. Sometimes problems that are so difficult at the time seem nothing when we compare them to the good that can come out of them.
It is ironic that Paul would talk about his troubles being light. During his ministry, Paul was beaten, shipwrecked, thrown in prison and even left for dead. Yet, none of that seemed like anything compared to the glory that Paul could look forward to in Christ. The afflictions were momentary but the glory of heaven was eternal. Paul could also see that what God accomplishes in our lives through the times of affliction were greater than the pain we experienced. Paul was suffering with the purpose of bringing others into faith. He was also drawing closer to the Lord as he depended on the Lord and watched the Lord work through each problem. The afflictions were having a marvelous outcome.
We often cry out to the Lord when we have any pain and want Him to fix it right away. We express anger that God would let us go through illness, family problems, and sewer backups. It is as if we believe that Christians should be exempt from all those things. Yet, we never consider what we gained from each one. Often illness makes us stop and adjust our values and our goals in life. An argument in a marriage can push us off autopilot and force a couple to grow in their relationship with each other. Little problems in our lives like a slow sewer can make us fix things before they become bigger. There is often a purpose to pain. It forces us to make corrections. It can also force us to look heavenward and into eternity. Problems aren’t all bad. They force us to make changes and see the good we have in Christ.
What was the last problem that you had that brought you to your knees? As you look back, did any good come out of it like a new insight, a change in life, or an appreciation of God’s work in your life?