“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” 2 Corinthians 4:17
What a verse! 🙂
I was reading a book at that time. Of all the verses contained in the chapter I was reading, that verse has piqued my curiosity. I closed the book and I opened my Bible. I headed towards the address of the verse, read its full chapter, and compared it with different version and different language. Sounds hectic, doesn’t it? But that’s what I used to do when I figure out something—accumulating many perspectives. Somehow it works. And as I studied His word, He taught me 😉
I kept the doodles on my notes. ‘My notes’ means the place of things I won’t share with anybody. I have bad history about sharing. I admit that I’m not good at speaking. So my best way to testify God’s favor is by writing. But when I share it through writing, they said I was haughty. (Take a deep breath) I still can’t understand why to share God’s favor is counted as prideful deeds. That’s how my bad history shutting me down to share. However, today’s devotion has spoken the opposite. Let me write the part of contain here:
“…So how do you bear fruit when God tells you something? You pass it on. When God tells you something, the quickest way to let it bear fruit in your life is to tell somebody else what you just learned…”
Hence, let me take heart. I would like to share what God has taught me no matter what they would say. Let the pharisees judge; let the Lord be glorified. I would like to share even if it only reaches one person. I pray that it will bless anyone who read this as it has blessed me. For God’s word never returns void.
Let us read that verse again, “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison”.
At first I was thinking this verse was talking about the reward we would get as we’re being afflicted. But let’s see what the meaning of reward is. Collins English Dictionary defined ‘reward‘ as ‘something given or received in return for a deed or service rendered’. Well-defined. Reward is something we get in return for what we have done (paraphrase by me). So reward is supposed to be directly proportional to effort. Reward is kind of merited things.
Less reward = Less effort
More reward = More effort
Yet I found such an inequality in this verse. The equation was not balance. If this verse was true that’s spoken about reward, the equation should not be like that. It should be:
Light momentary affliction = Light momentary glory (or)
Weight eternal affliction = Weight eternal glory
What does it mean? Did I say the Bible was wrong? NO. My understanding was. I was (or maybe, just maybe, you too) thinking this verse was about the reward of our affliction. But it’s not about it at all. This verse is about grace!
Let’s take a look back. The equation of this verse is:
Light momentary affliction = Weight eternal glory
In Linguistics, ‘light‘ is the opposite of ‘weight‘. Let’s say light is the negative and weight is the positive. And let’s bring it into Mathematics. The negative is x variable and the positive is x to the second power (x²).
So the equation of Reward is x = x, as well as x² = x². So, it also means x ≠ x²
But instead, the Bible said x = x²
Upside down much?
Let’s take a look again. Isn’t it unequal? Yes, it definitely is. But, doesn’t it how Grace works? It’s always been Grace who changes the (≠) into the (=). And grace makes logic upside down.
The same goes well to us which were the sinners (x) who’s supposed to be unequaled (≠) with the Kingdom (x²). But it was grace through Christ Jesus who came to die that has removed the slash crossed on the unequal symbol (≠) so it became equal (=).
Let’s now open Collins English Dictionary again. One of the definitions said that ‘grace‘ is ‘an unmerited gift, favour, etc, granted by God’. Again, well-defined. The keyword is ‘unmerited‘. If one burger was worth for $5 do you think it’s merit to get one as you pay it for $5? Absolutely. But how if you got one and paid it by only $1? You would get high-five on the face by the oh-so-hot pan. If weight eternal glory was equaled by weight eternal affliction, do you think it’s merit to have it when you only experience light momentary affliction? No. It’s unmerited at all. That is grace.
And “…beyond all comparison.” ended that verse excellently. Isn’t it the adjective of grace?
I’m not literally trying to look for formula. God’s favor’s immeasurable and indescribable. There’s no formula nor pattern for it. What I would like to share is that God’s favor was implied in this verse. It’s actually not about a reward for what we have done or have gone through, but it’s grace after all. And that grace’s what makes Matthew 11:30 makes sense. Thanks God for revealing. To God be the glory!
“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” John 1:16