2 Corinthians 4:17 Commentary, an Eternal Glory that far Outweighs them All

A vast scene of mountains with rays of sunshine peering through the clouds above.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

2 Corinthians 4:17, KJV

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

2 Corinthians 4:17, NIV

For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!

2 Corinthians 4:17, NLT

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,

2 Corinthians 4:17, ESV

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,

2 Corinthians 4:17, NKJV

For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory.

2 Corinthians 4:17, CSB

For our light affliction, which is for the moment, worketh for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory;

2 Corinthians 4:17, ASV

For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,

2 Corinthians 4:17, RSV

For this verse analysis, we will be using the O.I.C.A. method of studying the Holy Bible.

An image describing the OICA method of bible study. The O represents Observation and says "Read the passage and make some observations about what it says, consider why it was written. What does this tell you about God? About the Bible? Any key words." The I represents Interpretation and says "What does this passage mean? Why was it written? Always remember the context of the scripture when you make your interpretations." The C represents Correlations and says "How does this passage fit into the overall story of the Bible?" The A represents Application and says "What does this passage mean for your own life? What is the potential personal application?"


Christians have always faced persecution, and the apostle Paul was no exception. In 2 Corinthians 4:17, we are reminded that our ultimate goal is not to be comfortable in this life, but to be with God in the next. 

It is also a reminder that no matter how bad things seem, God is still in control and will ultimately triumph over evil. In times of trouble, we can take comfort in knowing that our suffering is only temporary and that there is an eternity of glory awaiting us.

These words offer comfort and hope to anyone who is struggling, emphasizing the importance of perspective and a reminder of God’s love for us and his power to help us through anything we may face in life.


This verse is often taken as a promise of relief from suffering. Even though our troubles may feel overwhelming, they are only temporary. The eternal glory that awaits us is far greater than anything we could ever experience on earth. Therefore, we should not be discouraged by our present difficulties but should fix our eyes on the prize of eternal life.

To best interpret the comparison of how small our current struggles may be against the weight of eternal glory, consider the length of time of our lives against the age of the planet. Our time on earth is infinitesimal compared to how long the planet has existed. The same goes for the length of time our struggles may last against… eternity. As scripture puts it, they are “beyond all comparison.”

This doesn’t mean that we should ignore the problems of this world; rather, it means that we should keep them in perspective and not allow them to consume us. 

Our focus should be on God and His eternal kingdom.


The apostle Paul, who wrote the letter to the Corinthians, was himself no stranger to hardship. He had been persecuted, beaten, and imprisoned for his faith. And yet, he did not lose hope.

Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. Are they ministers of Christ? – I speak as a fool – I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often.

2 Corinthians 11:22-23, NKJV

Similarly, the Corinthians are also experiencing extreme hardship. But God will see that they prevail and are awaited in eternity with Him. Through Paul, they are reminded of what awaits them while simultaneously being encouraged to carry on.

He reminds them that sufferings are temporary and will one day be replaced by eternal glory and should not let their hardships overwhelm them. Instead, they should fix their eyes on the prize of eternity with God and trust that He will ultimately triumph over all evil.

When interpreted in the context of the broader biblical story, it becomes clear that 2 Corinthians 4:17 is a powerful statement about human suffering and the hope of redemption.


Our earthly problems are temporary, and we should focus on our eternal salvation granted to us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Romans 8:18, NIV

Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

1 John 5:5, ESV

Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.

Psalm 34:19, KJV

We must have hope in the face of difficulties despite the trials we face in this life.

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

1 Peter 5:10, ESV

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Romans 12:12, ESV

The devil wants us to give up.

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8, NLT


Even though we will go through difficult times in our lives, they are only temporary. The eternal glory that God has in store for us is much greater. We can apply this verse to our lives by remembering that no matter what we are going through, God is with us and He has a plan for us.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11, ESV

We can also use this verse as motivation to persevere through tough times, knowing that the rewards will be great. This perspective can help us to endure hardship and persevere through difficult times. It also helps us to keep our eyes on what is truly important: our relationship with God and the eternal rewards that await us in heaven. When we apply this truth to our lives, it can make a world of difference. It can help us to find strength when we are weak, hope when we are discouraged, and peace in the midst of turmoil. 

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Deuteronomy 31:6, ESV

Endurance produces character and though our problems may feel overwhelming and tenous, they last but a short time compared to eternity.

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 5:3–5, ESV

For more on the book of 2 Corinthians, please reference our articles here.

This article references verses primarily written from the King James Version (KJV), New International Version (NIV), New Living Translation (NLT), English Standard Version (ESV), and New King James Version (NKJV) translations of the Bible.