For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Cor. 4:17
Like everyone, over the course of my life, there have been many highs and lows. Reflecting on them, I find that it has sometimes been hard to—immediately—be grateful for the hard times.
But then when time and distance set in, I’ve been able to get some perspective on some of them, and even been able to see how God might have used them for His glory.
Take for example the loss to Florida State when I was a Senior quarterback at the University Florida. (Go Gators!) I remember being knocked down 32 times, but just kept getting back up. While some people might admire that God-given tenacity, I’m sure there are some people who would question my sanity!
I often tell my kids that, in some ways, we should just go ahead and plan for trouble! In our family, we call it developing our disappointment muscles. That way, it’s easier to handle the bad times, if they come, with more grace and love, and maybe even some humor.
But more importantly, the celebration of Easter always reminds me, that our suffering, when handed over to Christ, presents the opportunity to bring about new life and resurrection. When we see our time of suffering as a precious opportunity to lean on the Truth and Christ’s resurrection power, it becomes an opportunity to grow … and the glory goes to Him.
Over the longer course of life, keeping an eternal vision of our time on Earth being a trajectory to develop us as Christians makes what we suffer more bearable—sort of a “light and momentary trouble.” Easter reminds me that Jesus kept an eternal perspective. Even though He was fully God incarnate, His time on Earth was a moment-by-moment walk as a man, relying on the power of God for obedience. And His walk resulted in the only perfect life there ever was, which made Him able to be the unblemished Lamb offered for the satisfaction of God’s punishment on sinners—and the salvation of our souls.
We’ll never be perfect, but we have a gracious and loving Savior who delights in giving us His power to face the hard times. May they all seem “light and momentary” by comparison.
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