Useful Bible Studies > 2 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 4

The greatness of the glory that God’s people are receiving

2 Corinthians 4:17

God is doing something great and wonderful in the lives of his people. Because of that, even the worst troubles in their lives seem minor. God’s people will have a home in heaven, and they will live with God always. That is so wonderful that the troubles of this life hardly seem to matter*.

‘Glory’ means something that is great, beautiful and wonderful. Really, all glory belongs to God*, but he shares it with his people. In the Hebrew language, the words for ‘weight’ and ‘glory’ are the same. So, Paul writes about a ‘weight of glory’ here and he emphasises it extremely strongly. The glory, that God’s people will have, will be very, very great.

People sometimes describe their troubles as a great weight that they must carry*. For Christians, however, that ‘weight’ becomes light because they have Christ’s help*. They do not need to struggle. Even during the worst troubles, God supports them.

Paul was speaking from his own experience. He had suffered some of the worse troubles that we can imagine*. These troubles had not made Paul’s trust in God weaker - in fact, they made him stronger. Paul writes that these troubles ‘work’ (bring about) for us this great glory. He does not mean that we earn the glory by our troubles. Our troubles have no value when we think about the glory*. Paul means that the Holy Spirit uses our troubles to bring God’s glory into our lives*.

Paul’s troubles continued for several years - in fact, until the end of his life. However, those troubles seemed to be only for a moment. God’s glory in his people’s lives will last always; it will never end.

Next part: Concentrate on the things that will really last (4:18)


* See complete article for these Bible references.

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© 2016, Keith Simons.