We often wonder why some of the most gentle of the saints experience a weight of woe, anguish, and affliction. I know of families that experience grief after grief, hurt after hurt, and calamity after calamity. As a pastor I am often asked to explain why this is so. Even pointing to the travail of Job, the sufferings of Christ, and the persecutions of the early church sometimes seems so inadequate to heal the hurt and bind up the wounds.
Part of our problem is that we don't take "the long view". We concentrate on the here and now, forgetting that "a thousand years are like a day" in the sight of the Lord (cf. Psalm 90:4). We need to remind ourselves that a season of suffering, or ten seasons of suffering, or even a hundred seasons of suffering are nothing in comparision with what is to come. Even if we live to exceed 100 years of age, and even if every single one of those days are accompanied with pain, suffering, and distress, we will find that it pales in comparison to an eternity with Christ.
All your calamities will have an end shortly. The longest day of the saints' troubles has an end; and then no more troubles for ever. The troubles of the wicked will be to eternity, but you shall suffer but a while (I Pet. 5. 10). If a thousand troubles are appointed for you, they will come to one at last, and after that no more. Yea, and though 'our light afflictions are but for a moment,' yet they work 'for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory' (2 Cor. 4. 17). Let that support your hearts under all your sufferings. (pg. 209)
This is not a message that resonates with our "I want it now" culture, but it is one that we need to hear.
The Ink: Robert Estienne (1503–1559)
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