Light and Momentary

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Cor. 4:17, NIV).

Light and momentary?? Really Paul??

Yes, really!

I chuckle writing that. How many times have I contemplated this verse and struggled with accepting it? I don’t know about you, but the hardships of my lifetime have not felt “light.” Nor have they felt “momentary.” So many of them have seemed to drag on interminably. Are you there with me? I bet you are!

Let’s think for a moment, though, about the human instrument God used to write these words. In this same book, Paul lists out his own hardships. I’m going to put them in a bulleted list for you, extracted from 1 Corinthians 11:23-29:

  • In prison frequently
  • Flogged severely
  • Exposed to death again and again
  • Five times, received from the Jews forty lashes minus one
  • Three times, beaten with rods
  • Stoned, left for dead
  • Three times, shipwrecked
  • Spent a night and a day in the open sea
  • In danger from rivers, from bandits, from his fellow Jews, and from Gentiles
  • In danger in the city, in the country, and at sea
  • In danger from false believers
  • Hard labor, often going without sleep
  • Hunger and thirst, often going without food
  • Cold and naked
  • Daily the pressure of his concern for all the churches; inwardly “burning.”

In other words, if anyone had a legitimate reason to not view his sufferings as “light and momentary,” it would be this man. And yet, there we have his own words on the matter. That’s exactly what he called them. Light and momentary.

Today as I thought on these words of his, Holy Spirit spoke to my heart. He told me, “This is My perspective of your earthly troubles. This is the correct perspective. This is the perspective that reflects true Reality.”

Through his suffering, Paul had matured so much that he had grown up into God’s perspective on the matter. He could actually see life through God’s lenses. He could see everything he was enduring as a blip on the timeline of eternity. He could see the glorious eternal bliss awaiting him.

Only Holy Spirit can do this for us. Only the Spirit of the Living God can illuminate the eyes of our hearts to see life this way.

God is no respecter of persons. He shows no favoritism. What He did for Paul, He will do for you and me. Let’s ask Him. He will give us eyes to see life through His lenses.

“Ask and you will receive, so that your joy will be the fullest possible joy” (John 16:24, NCV).


Do you think about the brevity of life frequently? Do you like to spend time meditating on the reality of heaven?

21 thoughts on “Light and Momentary

  1. Can you just imagine your bullet list as the portfolio for a job you were thinking of applying for? I think most of us would run as fast as our feet would carry us in the opposite direction! Light and momentary? Oh yes but only by faith. Thanks for reminding us.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Life is not easy for anyone, but when we cast our burdens on Jesus, He carries our load and the weight slips away from us. The hard part is for us to let go of the load. We cling to it tightly and try to manage it on our own. As we mature in our faith, we learn day by day to allow God’s grace to manifest in all areas of our lives. It is a day to day journey. We begin anew each morning, taking all of our cares to God. Only in this way, do we find rest. Only in this way, do we have any peace at all. But it is an ongoing relationship…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. It sure is, my sister. Learning to release our burdens to Him takes so much practice! Years and years worth! But the freedom we gradually grow into as we do practice makes it so very worth it all. Thank You Father for inviting us into this relationship!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. On this subject, I love the imagery of the 23rd Psalm and walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Because of Him, we have the strength to keep walking, as a pilgrim people on our way to the paradise that awaits.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Just yesterday while walking up the stairs to my apartment I prayed, “Thank you God for the struggles in my life. They have made me the person I am today, a followed of Jesus who seeks to do your will.”

    In the moment the struggle seems insurmountable, but God never provides doors we don’t have the strength to open. Some are barred and locked and shielded by debris, but with God we can open them and forge our way forward.


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