One thing about “Light Afflictions” is that they don’t look so light when they come. Most times we’re oblivious of their arrival and they appear in different forms every time so no individual can exactly describe or even understand the peculiarity of your situation. Light Afflictions are tricky. One thing i have come to realise about them is that they usually appear bigger than they really are. Jonah called them “Lying vanities” (Jonah 2:8). It so happens that the most popular examples of the end of some people’s history with “Light Afflictions” is that it ended in a pandemonium and this is usually due to the inability of people to identify “Light Afflictions” when they come in their multifarious ways and the purpose for which they have come.
They may come in the form of you not having enough and you begin to think about verses like Psalm 23:1 which says “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” and now you’re wondering if maybe they were referring to somebody else not you. They can also come in the form of you being surrounded by a lot of animosity and persecution in your work place, home or even your local church and so you’re having a hard time understanding verses like Isaiah 26:3 which says “He will keep you in perfect peace…” Some times it just appears in certain conditions that seem to have lingered for a longer time than you expect especially for a blood washed believer, born of the Spirit of God and filled with the Holy Spirit. Guess what? The main target of “Light Afflictions is not you. It’s your Faith.
The Apostle Paul first used the word “Light Afflictions” in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18. It says “For our light affliction, 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.”
This sounds like the most illogical thing to the rational mind. However, now we see the purpose of Light Afflictions. Light Afflictions are there like exams which we all would love to avoid however your performance or in this case your response to them determines how long they last. The next verse then addresses what we focus on; what we keep our eyes on. Just like the children of Israel kept their eyes on the brazen serpent Moses made and not on their snake bitten spot, so also we must take our eyes off the problem, the hostilities from people, the lack, that unpaid house rent, the debt and every other physical and even emotional thing that seem to negate the Finished works of Jesus for you. Yes. The works are already finished; already paid for .Fix your eyes on the things which are eternal. The things which are seen are temporal and subject to change. They won’t last forever. This means that regardless of what you feel, the pressures of life and the seemingly hopeless situations, they are but for a moment and will change if you hold on. With faith and patience, Hold on. Hold on to what is everlasting. Hold on to Jesus and His love for you. God’s love for you is eternal. It never changes.
Keep your eyes of the Lamb of God that was slain for you. Keep your eyes on His blood. Let it become the strong hold in your mind. Let that be exalted above every other thought or idea irrespective of the storms that are raging outside. Hold on to your confession of faith. Faith not in your works but on what Jesus has already done. That’s how to properly respond to light afflictions. The aim of this slight distress is the preparation of a blessing that is beyond all measure. Whatever you are going through is nothing compared to the glory that shall be revealed in you. (Romans 8:18).
The main aim of temptation is for one to lose focus; that is, to take one’s eyes off the source of their salvation. The proof that your eyes are off is that your speech changes. You start talking unbelief. You start condemning yourself or you start looking on your works and your performance and not on the righteousness of God which is Jesus which a lot of religious folks are fond of doing and that’s why the light afflictions which are “But for a moment” have lasted so long when God never intended it to be that way.
A fascinating verse i came across was the book of Jonah 2:8. It says that “THEY THAT OBSERVE LYING VANITIES FORSAKE THEIR OWN MERCY” In the context of this verse Jonah was already in the belly of the fish and was still in there. He said also in the next verse that “But i will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of THANKSGIVING.” He said this while he was in the belly of the fish. His circumstances had not changed and yet he decided to praise God and rejoice in the Lord.
To observe means to look intently; to consider; to analyse and to ponder on something so much so that your mind is filled with thoughts about it. Surprisingly the bible says that observing those things which “are a lie” deprives us of our mercy. It did not say that the Lord takes it from you but that you forsake it. Paul also expressed this attitude in 2 Corinthians 12:8 where he said “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.” We are not aware what exactly his petition was but then it seemed like there had not been any physical manifestation of change but then the next verse was fascinating. He said “…Most gladly therefore will I RATHER GLORY IN MY INFIRMITIES, that the POWER OF CHRIST may rest upon me. Yes. He said to glory in infirmities.
These are amazing bible verses that reveal to you first that whatever you may be going through is not peculiar to you. The right response is very essential to your victory in any trial. It is not meant to break you but it is a proof and a tangible sign that a greater manifestation of Gods power is about to be revealed to you. Apostle peter in 2 Peter 4:14 said “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, HAPPY ARE YE; for the SPIRIT OF GLORY AND OF GOD RESTETH UPON YOU”
These are some powerful statements and most people have rather become so negative, discouraged, condemned, complainers. They’ve become overwhelmed with the circumstances and it has affected their believe system. Most painfully is the practice of a lot of people to tend to look to the government, family, even yourself and every other thing apart from the Lamb of God. The bible says to be strong in the Lord not in our self or our efforts or anything we do or did not do but be strong in the Lord and Jesus is that Lord. Our victory is in him. Our righteousness is in Him. Our redemption and salvation is in Him and as long as our eyes are on Him, His victory is replicated and manifested in our lives. (1 Corinthians 1:30).
The truth is that a lot of things that we have overcome at some point in our lives seemed so big in our eyes but think about it. You overcame it. You made it. Light afflictions are inevitable. If they persecuted Jesus the world will also persecute you. So we’d better know how to be victorious when they come. Be vigilant to spot your light affliction and when it comes rejoice seeing as you know your redemption is already here. Don’t start asking “why me Lord” Rejoice!! Start speaking. Continue speaking. Stay there with thanksgiving. Hold on to your confession. Don’t waver. (James 1: 8) Keep your eyes on Jesus for He is faithful to keep you from falling .He (not you) keeps you from falling.
God loves you and He is with you. Know that in everything you go through there is no way you can ever be ashamed. He is for you and in all things you are more than a conqueror through Him that loves you.
Remain conscious of His presence always.