Summary: We should be grateful for God’s earthly, physical blessings and protection, but we should be even more grateful for the eternal blessings he gives us.
An Eternal Weight of Glory
The “starting text,” Psalm 116:3-19
3 The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
I suffered distress and anguish. 4Then I called on the name of the LORD:
"O LORD, I pray, deliver my soul!"
5 Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; our God is merciful. 6The LORD preserves the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me. 7Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.
8For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling; 9I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
10 I believed, even when I spoke, "I am greatly afflicted"; 11 I said in my alarm, "All mankind are liars."
12What shall I render to the LORD for all his benefits to me? 13I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD, 14I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.
15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
16O LORD, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant. You have loosed my bonds. 17I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD. 18I will pay my vows to the
LORD in the presence of all his people, 19in the courts of the house of the LORD, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD!
7But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12So death is at work in us, but life in you.
13Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, "I believed, and so I spoke," we also believe, and so we also speak,
14knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
16So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.*
*perhaps the NEW Jerusalem, quoted from ESV
Main Idea: We should be grateful for God’s earthly, physical blessings and protection, but we should be even more grateful for the eternal blessings he gives us.
I. Our Sufferings for Christ Demonstrate That Eternal Life is Our LOT (7-12)
• Co-ordinated with Psalm 116:3-9
Principle: first we suffer, then we rest and live… (the order of Ps. 116)
A. We bear the glorious LIGHT in our pottery oil LAMPS (bodies)
B. Our lamps may be chipped or cracked, but still FUNCTIONING
C. God has DELIVERED us spiritually as he delivered the Psalmist physically
D. The irony: JESUS thrives in us when we die to ourselves
• It becomes obvious that our lamps are not running on our own power
• Hannukah: one days worth of oil burned for 8 days (Feast of Lights)
• During this feast, Jesus said, “I am the light of the world”
• What God calls us to do is beyond ourselves; but he supplies
We should be grateful for God’s earthly, physical blessings and protection, but we should be even more grateful for the eternal blessings he gives us.
II. The Christian Life is Lived TOGETHER With Fellow Believers Before God (13-15)
• Co-ordinated with Psalm 116:10-14
A. TOGETHER we offer up thanksgiving to God
1. Christianity is a social faith (communal thanksgiving)
2. We desperately need to be more thankful; we act as though entitled…
3. When Eleazar, Abraham’s slave, was at the well and Rebekah offered…
4. It puts and emphasis on “together” that was lost in the early centuries
B. The Psalmist offered thanks in the earthly temple; we in the HEAVENLY one