byGiven O. Blakely
"For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 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" (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

From earth's point of view, the afflictions of the righteous are not "light," and they certainly do not appear "momentary." God's people are often led through deep waters, fiery furnaces, and great deserts. Their faith is frequently stretched as their earthly circumstances seem to contradict their heavenly calling. All of these seeming contradictions are only the result of imperfect vision. Those that live by faith see things quite differently. Faith broadens our perspective, making life more tolerable. Afflictions are "momentary" when we possess a "living hope." When we know our names are "written in heaven," and that our inheritance is reserved in heaven for us, affliction is made light!

Make no mistake about this. The saints are not impervious to these things. They are equal to them. The "great salvation" which they enjoy enables them to see this life as preparatory for the one to come. They know if we "suffer with Him, we will reign with Him." They are "strangers and pilgrims" in this world, and therefore acknowledge they have here "no continuing city." They are fervently "seeking a city which has foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God."

We "look" at things unseen when we consider them--when we ponder them, and meditate upon them. While carnal people are dominated by a concern for worldly possessions, the believer considers the "reward of the inheritance." What God has promised is so good, so grand, so glorious, that it dwarfs all that competes with it.

The greatest ministers are those that give us eternal verities to behold; that hold before our minds the "exceeding great and precious promises" of God. They lighten our afflictions, making them appear but momentary. Precious friends, indeed, that remind us of the time when we will "beat our swords into plow shares and our spears into pruning hooks."

The teachers and leaders that bring the greatest liabilities are those that focus upon this world. They are not our friends, for they increase our burden. They deceive us into thinking the "seen" is primary, when it is secondary in every sense of the word.

In joyful expectation of glory,
Given O. Blakely

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