Read II Corinthians 4:1 through 5:1.
Troubles and trials–we all have them. I’d like to say that when a person gets saved the troubles and trials are gone, but it’s not true. As long as we’re in this life there will be troubles. We had them before salvation but we had to go through them alone. Now we have someone with us. God is always there.
.Verses 3-4 tell us the good news is revealed to all but some refuse to believe. God saves all who come to him. He made it easy but there’s only one way to heaven. The god of this world is Satan and he’s blinded the lost. Verse 5 reminds us the focus of preaching is on Christ. It’s not me. We’ve accomplished nothing. What is done is through Jesus Christ. Lift him up to this lost and dying world. It’s about HIM! In verse 7 we see we’re empowered by God to spread the good news. He’s the power. Our responsibility is to let people see Christ in us. God help us to live in such a way. Verses 8-12 remind us that even if we’re at the end of the rope, we are not to be distressed, perplexed, or destroyed. The Church is going up! It’s still on the Rock. The firm foundation of Christ is still there. Verse 16 contrasts the inward and outward. We perish outwardly while inwardly we’re renewed. God keeps blessing. In verse 16 is the seen and unseen contrast. Don’t get attached to this world. Why get attached to what will pass away. The eternal things are important and will not pass away. In 5:1 is the earthly and heavenly contrast. I try to extend my life. I take care of myself. I enjoy living. I am not so fixed on life that I forget the heavenly. My hope goes beyond this life
Here are some things to remember about troubles and trials. Look at verse 17: For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Troubles and trials are sure. Paul said that here and not just about himself. He said “our” affliction. We’ll all face them because of the curse on the world. Afflictions are shallow. Paul called them “light” afflictions. How could he say this? Sure, he doesn’t know what you’re going through, but Paul went through many afflictions. He called them “light” because in the context of what our Lord went through, our afflictions are indeed “light.” They are also short. Paul said they are “but for a moment.” They will end. Compared to eternity they last only a little while. They’re confined to this world. In eternity, the saved will leave troubles and trials behind. We should regard them as sweet. They have benefits. Paul said they work “for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” What are these benefits? They remind us of Christ’s suffering. This keeps us from pride. They cause us to look beyond this life. They show our faith to others. They also give God the opportunity to demonstrate his power to others.
This life is not all there is. It is the place to get ready for the next world; there is life after death. The saved will live forever with God and there will be no sin or suffering. We know the best is yet to come! Troubles and trials will end on that day!