The third Friday of each month in 2019 we’re studying my favorite life verses: 2 Corinthians 4:15-18. This section of Scripture has proven a solid source of faith for me through many challenges over the past fifteen years. As we work our way through this passage you’ll see it build on the previous phrases all the way to the end.
All this is for your benefit so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart, though outwardly we are wasting away, 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.*
Everyone has troubles in life. Some people expect when they turn their life over to God they will live free from problems. The opposite is actually true. Jesus told us not to be surprised when we encounter problems in this fallen world.
Thankfully God gave us many lessons in Scripture to help us work through our troubles. Here are a few verses that will help us unpack Paul’s teaching:
- 1. See troubles as tests to refine our character.
So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and privies gold–though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. ~ 1 Peter 1:6-7 **
We must accept that troubles are burning away our character flaws; purifying us to be more like Christ. We can be confident that God is directing our lives toward good and will always provide the strength we need to make it through.
- 2. See troubles as opportunities to grow and learn.
Brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. ~ James 1:2-4 **
We don’t want to fake happiness in the face of troubles, but rather we can have a positive outlook knowing the trouble we are enduring are producing good character qualities in our life.
3. See troubles as preparation for your glorious future.
Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. ~ Romans 8:18
God often uses troubles to test what we are able to withstand. He is testing to see what weight of glory are we prepared to live under. Too much glory, too many blessings on an unprepared life could crush it. But the glory resting on a prepared and fully sanctified life will establish it.
The Apostle Paul gives us great insight into the troubles we will encounter. He wants us to recognize God has a purpose for the troubles we’re going through. Let’s go forward and see our trying circumstances with a different prospective and with a better attitude. We can trust that God is refining our character, giving us opportunities to grow and preparing us for a glorious future with Him!
We hold tight to the promise of new life
Our hope in Jesus Christ will never fail or fall
These light and momentary trials
Are gaining us a prize that far outweighs them all.
~ from Light and Momentary by For All Seasons
Contemplate the momentary trials you’re undergoing. Click and listen to Light and Momentary by For All Seasons .
*New International Verson
** New Living Translation