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Not only is all your affliction momentary, not only is all your affliction light in comparison to eternity and the glory there, but all of it is totally meaningful. That is a very controversial statement because of how much insane suffering there is in the world.
Every time something horrific happens, an interviewer will say, “Meaningless.” And that is what it looks like — at least from our perspective. They look at it, and they say, “This is meaningless.” Suffering is everywhere. Now that we have the internet, there is no excuse for not crying every day. “Weep with those who weep,” right (Romans 12:15)? If you don’t have a theology that can cope with internet horrors, you just better check out or get one.
Corinthians - Affliction - Weight - Glory - Weight
Second Corinthians 4:17 says our “light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory.” It doesn’t say, “will be followed by an eternal weight of glory” — that would be good enough. That’s not what it says. Katērgadzomai — forgive the Greek: I just love it, and I feel like I have to dump it out every now and then. The word means produce, prepare, cause to bring about. I’ll venture this: every millisecond of your pain — from fallen nature or fallen man — every millisecond of your misery in the path of obedience is producing a peculiar glory you will get because of that suffering.
That’s a very controversial statement — and I believe it. So if anybody says to me that a believer’s suffering was meaningless, I’ll be quiet probably because they’re hurting really bad right now. I’m going to wait and see when the right time is, but I’m going to come back eventually and say, “It wasn’t meaningless.” I don’t care if it was cancer or criticism. I don’t care...
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