We are living in the midst of a troubled world, jarred loose from its old moorings and certainties. A great cloud of confusion, of anxiety, and fear rests heavily over all peoples. But in the words above the earnest, believing Christian finds comfort and strength. Paul’s design is to show the sources of consolation, strength, courage, and supported trials and testings.
We do not welcome afflictions, but it is true that under the marvelous province of our Heavenly Father they do work out for us a “far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” or character. What a comfort to the Christian to know, in the words of Lowell, “Behind the dIm unknown, stands God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.” The “things which are seen” are those created things of which we have knowledge to the senses in which pass away. “The things which are not seen” are the things of the spirit, moral principles, truth, and God; and these, apprehended by the eye of faith, are the greatest forces abiding forever in the moral universe. These are real and mighty.
Caesar Malan, dying, cried out, “Mit’sy friends, these are realities, God, Christ, eternal life, heaven, the glory! These are the great realities!” These great, though unseen, realities are the abiding comfort of the believing Christian, for here we catch the vision of God’s gracious purpose-eternal life and “the glory.” Let us trust and be at peace.
The apostle Paul said it this way:
“For a light afflictions, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
II Corinthians 4:17, 18.
The above statement was written by Rev. Arthur H Smith – Ashland, Ohio in 1939.
How true those words for those who read them almost 100 years ago. How appropriate they are for today and for the experiences people of the world are having. Let Christians rely on the truth that God is always in control. He will never let us down!