What does the Bible mean by "weight of glory?"


2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NAS) Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 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.

Rooted in the sovereignty of God are his counsel and providence concerning persecution, trial, temptation, sickness, suffering, riches, poverty, and every other aspect of life in a fallen sinful world. God is sovereign over all, the good and the bad.

Life at times may be painful and perplexing; yet, it is also purposeful. While we hope for the very best, bad things can happen. They do not feel good. They can make us sad and may disappoint on numerous levels. Have no doubt about it, Christians suffer (Eccl. 7:14; Gal. 6:7-9; 2 Tim. 3:12, et al.).

However, we should not lose heart. God's sustaining presence allows us to overcome (2 Cor. 4:8-9). His life, power, and grace is exalted in our weakness (2 Cor. 4:7, 10). And there is a future resurrection hope, where we will experience the fullness of God's amazing grace (2 Cor. 4:14). In all this there is a divine purpose (2 Cor. 4:15; cf. John 9:3), therefore we should not lose heart. Our affliction is momentary and light (2 Cor. 4:17), and though not fully understood (2 Cor. 4:18), it produces within us an eternal weight of glory.

So, life happens, but it is never accidental. We are to look at and respond to it through God's lens, from his perspective (Col. 3:1-4). Peter told the scattered and persecuted believers he wrote to that Christians endure the sufferings of this world for the sake of the glory of heaven (1 Pet. 1:3-9). Whatever happens in this life cannot be compared with the glory of the life to come. Heaven is eternal. This earth is temporal. A proper perspective is an eternal one, based upon God's eternal word, covenant, and promises.

Suggested Reading:

"Weight of Glory," a sermon by C. S. Lewis

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).