17For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
Bombs away. And God loves you. Seems hard to believe, right?
The Apostle Paul was an instrument. Chosen. Suffered. Afflicted. Trials were his life. His ministry. In the name of Jesus. “For I [Jesus] will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name (Acts 9:16).” His past. Momentary. His present. Momentary. His future. Eternal. He, through his ministry, offers us, servants (believers) of God, a heavens eye view when we’re facing trials.
For The Sake Of Others
Light in comparison to eternal glory. Is what you’re going through right now hard? Has it been one thing after the other? Gut-wrenching? Heartbreaking? Devastating? List your trials and the apostle Paul says, ‘I know.’ Despair. Burdens. He knows (2 Corinthians 1:8). Apostle Paul embodied, as many of Jesus’ disciples (believers) did, in hardships, and we’re told (shown) throughout scripture that as hard as it is and as hard as it gets, rejoice (1 Peter 1:6). Not in the moment but in the glory. Heavens glory.
The Bible tells us God makes much of himself through those who suffer in Christ. And God never leaves us to just suck it up but to soak it all in (1 Peter 5:10). In light of eternity.
For The Sake Of Those In Your Life
Paul, in 2 Corinthians 11:23-28, shares with us his many afflictions. Labors, imprisonments, countless beatings (near death), multiple lashes and rods, stoning, being shipwrecked, dangers from every direction, sleepless nights, hunger and thirst, cold and exposure, and worry for the churches. And there be in scripture contentment…for the sake of Christ…for when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).
What has your life been filled with? Abuse, neglect, mistreatment, misfortune, hurt unimaginable? God is to us the God of all comforts. He comforts us so that we can comfort others (2 Corinthians 1). Your life, your past and present Christian, can now be, is now your ministry.
Take Heart…You Have A Ministry
Imagine your ministry being in your (worst) experiences? Mine are.
I grew up fatherless. I grew up loving and resenting my mom. I grew up thinking I was a mistake. I grew up questioning my identity. I grew up wondering why me. I grew up having low self-esteem. I grew up afraid to trust people. I grew up trying to fill that fatherless void by people-pleasing.
Thanks be to God for the 180 degree turn He continues to make in my life.
Today I am loved by the one true Father through Jesus Christ. And I live like it. Today I thank my mom for giving me Jesus. And I rejoice in that salvation. Today I thank God that my identity is found in Him. And that I’m free to be me. Today I thank God for my husband who is a good father. And I thank him for loving me. Today I thank God that He has given me a heart for others. And I thank Him for the gift of encouragement.
Today I love Him more and more.
My ministry now is that of encouragement in the one true Father who fills the vacancies of past hurts. For us to live lives loved by God. For us to live lives in (the) light of our afflictions.
So let’s go Christians, take heart, heaven is watching.
What is your ministry in light of eternity?