“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;” 1 Corinthians 4:17
“Affliction” is an aspect of Christianity that most of us know very little about. This great gulf would, no doubt, be narrowed if we understood some of the benefits of this seemingly negative and undesirable portion of life, and change the way we view it the next time around. It was because Israel was “afflicted” by the Egyptians that they “multiplied and grew”.
“But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew…” Exodus 1:12
King David knew that “…all we like sheep have gone astray…” (Isaiah 53:6), which is why he told the good shepherd, “thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4b), and “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.” (Psalm 119:67). Paul, like David reckoned that the present sufferings served as an opportunity to be obedient to God’s word, and were well worth a little discomfort in comparison with eternity.
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18
Jesus Christ himself learned obedience through suffering, why do we think that we should be exempt?
“Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;” Heb. 5:8
Moses was confronted with this same issue and yet with eyes wide open, he counted the cost and turned his back on the world and what it had to offer, to suffer with God’s people.
“Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;” Hebrews 11:25
King Manasseh learned this principle, only after having tried life contrary to God.
“And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, And prayed unto him: and he was intreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD he was God.” 2 Chronicles 33:13
God uses “affliction” to not only seek the lost but to grow and refine his own. Friend, it is only when we humble ourselves “greatly before the God” and pray for his deliverance, that we will know “that the LORD he was God”. Do you know God? If not, humble yourself and pray to him now, he will hear your supplication and bring you into his kingdom too! If you’re not saved, “affliction” in this life is only a preview of what’s to come for you. If you do know Christ and are afflicted today, make God’s word your “delights” and grow through this “affliction”, if view of eternity, it is only momentary.
“Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.” Psalm 119:92