“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”
“An Eternal Weight of Glory”
(Please read 2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
Long before most other types of weighing devices were invented, balance scales were widely used and well-known for their important place in commerce and industry. So it became natural for people to speak of such scales in a figurative sense, referring to “scales of justice” or maybe describing how some decision had been reached by “weighing” the advantages and disadvantages, the pros and the cons.
It was this kind of comparison that Paul had in mind in our text. Not that eternal glory has a “weight” that can be measured, but that, on balance, the ultimate glory of Christians is enough to make any burden in this life seem “light.”
Paul, you remember, had suffered many hardships, including hunger, cold, beatings and shipwrecks. He was a man who knew what suffering was, but twice in this chapter he spoke of not losing heart. In his view, with his “spirit of faith,” his epic sufferings were only “light and momentary troubles” (NIV) while the glory to come, in contrast, would be a weight, not just momentary but eternal.
Surely we’ve all suffered in varying degrees since suffering is part of the human condition. But our pains can be reduced and our spirits lifted by looking ahead to the indescribable and unending happiness of the life to come. And by the grace of God, even as our bodies deteriorate our spirits can soar and with the eye of faith we can see what is unseen, glorious and eternal.
Contemplation of that glory is enough, as Paul writes in a preceding verse, to “cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.”