Do you ever have days when your soul grows weary; when you lose perspective, and trials become overwhelming? I do, and I recently struggled through some of those days.
I live with a chronic illness that makes simple daily life physically challenging. I am constantly weak and exhausted. It is hard for me to sit or stand, and sometimes it is impossible. In recent days I have barely been able to make it two hours without needing help. Sometimes in the midst of these troubles I lose perspective, my soul grows weary, and I feel like I can’t go on.
Life is hard. We all suffer in one way or another. Jesus said we would (John 16:33). In the midst of suffering, I find encouragement in God’s Word, and that is what keeps me going.
2 Corinthians 4:16-17 is one of my favorite verses to read when I’m having a hard day.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet 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” (NIV).
Light and momentary troubles? There are days when my troubles feel anything but light and momentary! They feel awful and overwhelming. But when I shift my focus from my immediate circumstances to an eternal perspective, I see my troubles for what they truly are: brief. Compared to eternity, this is just a moment. Suffering is only for a time; it will one day end. Heaven will last forever.
Okay, so the troubles of today are brief compared to eternity. I get that. But light? How are these afflictions light? They feel so heavy. My body grows weaker, and apart from a miracle, it will never function normally again. I can’t be the wife and mother for my family that I want to be. This isn’t light; this is huge!
While my troubles may feel like a huge weight, according to verse 17 they aren’t, not when compared to the eternal glory that awaits me. God’s Word promises that the eternal glory being prepared for me far outweighs my troubles. Put the two on a balance, and the weight of reward in Heaven is way out of proportion to the weight of suffering in this life. One day in Heaven I will see that the suffering I endured in the past was more than worth it.
There is value in my current suffering because faithful suffering in Christ’s name is what actually achieves an eternal weight of glory. If I remain faithful in my troubles today, the glory awaiting me in Heaven will be greater than if I had remained faithful without ever having suffered. When I pause to think about that, it astounds me. My reward in Heaven will be greater because of what I am enduring now!
My dear sisters in Christ, when you find yourself in the midst of suffering, keep an eternal perspective so that you don’t lose heart. These troubles are momentary; they are light, and they are valuable. If you are faithful to the Lord your God, your reward in Heaven will be great, and your current pain will be worth it all.
Today my body is weak, but my inner self has found strength by resting on God’s truth. I find joy in this journey as I look forward to the glory that awaits me.
In what ways has God called you to suffer? How have you found hope in His Word?Leave a Comment
Holley Gerth says
Rachel, thanks for putting things into perspective for us–for reminding us that all our troubles are part of a bigger picture. And that the Master Artist is painting it with love no matter what. I’m so glad you’re here on (in)courage today!
Thank you for your kind words, Holly, and thank you so much for allowing me to share here on (in)courage! It was a blessing and a privilege.
P.S. I know I’m really late coming back here to reply to everyone’s thoughtful comments. I’ve had a difficult 10 months and am only now getting back into blogging again.
Jamie @ Inspired Mess says
I love this so much. Thank you. I have MS and I can relate to this soooo much! I needed this today. Again, thank you for the reminder.
You’re welcome, Jamie. I’m glad it could encourage you. Thanks for the feedback!
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Thanks for this today. Timely! ( Also, so YOU are the person who got the blog name I wanted! I’m glad to see you did.)
Heehee! Actually, my web address is cranberryteatime.blogspot because onedayatatime.blogspot was already taken. However, I still call my blog One Day at a Time.
I made my own little sign that I have thumb tacked to my bedroom wall to get me through trials. It’s this: THIS DOES NOT EXIST IN HEAVEN: IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD. Basically it is to remind me that whatever I am going through here on earth, it doesn’t exist in our permanent home with Jesus. A friend of mine also told me he read something where a Christian had been going through something rough and God said to him: “Can you thank me for trusting you with this?” I took that and made a sign out of it and I can stare at it every day by my desk. It completely changed my perspective on trials.
I will pray for you.
Thanks for shairng your thoughts, and thank you for your prayers.
Oh how I need these kindgom eyes! Thank you for sharing such truth! We are just passing through, aren’t we?!
Hi Melissa, thanks for reading! I’m thankful that my words could encourage you. May you be blessed as you walk with the Lord today.
What encouraging thoughts! Thank you for this post.
My husband read those verses from 2 Corinthians to my grandfather when he was in the middle of many health issues. I’m so glad you used them here.
They are beautiful verses, aren’t they? I’m glad they encouraged you.
Beautiful, encouraging post. It seems there are as many ways to suffer as there are people. Thanks for refocusing our efforts on cultivating inner strength and beauty.
Thank you for your kind words. May you be blessed and strengthened in the Lord as you remain faithful to Him in whatever ways He has called you to suffer.
Thank you, Rachel! I was recently been diagnosed with a chronic illness, and a few months ago I had the most beautiful moment. I woke up early before my family and tried to turn over. I was stopped by pain. I shift again and pain in another area of my body assaulted me. Just at that moment, I felt this beautiful, Divine peace float down over me and this thought that although my body doesn’t work properly right now, in Heaven I will be given a new body.
Thank you for thinking of me, Jennifer, and continuing to check in on me on my blog these last 8 months. It is encouraging to know that I was remembered! I’m glad to be back to blogging again now.
I pray that the Lord will bless you and strengthen you as you suffer on this earth with a chronic illness. I look forward to the day when we will both have resurrection bodies. Let’s go running or swimming or hiking on the New Earth together, okay? 🙂
Great reminder, Rachel. It doesn’t feel “light” very often, for sure. But it DOES help knowing it’s only for a season. We have HOPE!
We do indeed have hope! Rest in God’s strength and grace today, and hold on to the hope that we have.