II Corinthians 4:13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;

14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

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

18 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.

II Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Hebrews 6:11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:

12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Hebrews 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.

36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.


MEMORY VERSE: Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. — Revelation 2:10b


CENTRAL THOUGHT: The life of faith and trust in God for salvation, holiness, daily needs and spiritual victory, through tribulations, afflictions, adversaries, and temptations, will most assuredly be rewarded at life’s end by sight of all the unseen things for which faith was the evidence, and the glorious crown of eternal life.




II Corinthians 4:13 “As it is written, I believed…”: a quotation from Psalm 116:10.

II Corinthians 4:17 “Light”: little or light, as compared to great and weighty; easy to bear; easily managed; not burdensome. The same word Jesus used when He said His yoke would be easy and His burden light. “Affliction”: pressure; tribulation; a narrow place that “hems you in” and makes you feel there is no way of escape.

Hebrews 10:36 “Patience”: cheerful endurance. “Undisturbed by obstacles, delay, and failures.”

Hebrews 10:37-38 “For yet a little while…”: a quotation from Habakkuk 2:3-4. Hebrews 10:39 “Perdition”: destruction; loss; cut off from well-being.




In Paul’s second epistle to the Corinthians, he spoke of the many tribulations, sufferings and labors of his ministry. He emphasized in the third and fourth chapters that the glorious gospel for which he suffered was an awesome and powerful LIGHT that transformed lives. The blessing of identifying with the sufferings, afflictions and death of Christ was that through these, eternal, unseen glories were being accomplished in the lives of the saints. He then quoted from Psalm 116, identifying with the Old Testament saints who looked forward in spirit to the glory of the Messiah’s kingdom. Their faith caused them to speak of things they couldn’t see yet. Paul’s faith caused him to testify and speak of the glory that was ahead for him.

To Timothy, Paul’s last written testimony was that he was already in the process of being sacrificed, or offered up as a witness, a martyr, for Christ. He was in prison, awaiting Nero’s death sentence. He had been true to the vision and revelation of Christ. Earlier in the letter he had stated, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (II Timothy 1:12).

The writer to the Hebrews exhorted them to be diligent, not slothful; citing the examples of those who inherited the promises through faith and patience. He then went on to mention Abraham, who when receiving God’s promise and oath, patiently endured until he received the promise. Twenty-five years he waited for Isaac, his son of promise!

The exhortation was repeated in the tenth chapter, where he quotes from Habakkuk, “The just shall live by faith,” adding, “But if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” He encourages patience, assuring us that He Who has promised to come will surely come. I like the way one translation phrases the last verse: “We are not of them who slink away and hide through fear; we are not the cowards, but the courageous.”

The memory verse is from the vision John saw while exiled on Patmos, where Jesus appeared with messages for the seven churches. To the church at Smyrna, He spoke of coming persecution and suffering, which came from both Jews and Romans. Smyrna was home to the temple of the wine deity, Dionysius. A myth about his death and resurrection may be alluded to in the Lord’s greeting to this church, “These things saith the first and the last, which was dead and is alive,” meaning that Christ’s death and resurrection was indeed a truth and not a myth. In the heathen celebration of this myth, the priests were presented with a crown. Possibly the mention of the crown Jesus promised—an eternal one, not one of earthly festivity—was given because the Smyrnan people were so very familiar with the event.

Whether or not the famous martyr, Polycarp, first pastor at Smyrna and ordained by the Apostles, was there at the time of this writing has been debated by commentators. He was martyred in Smyrna in A. D. 168, and although the city was destroyed by an earthquake soon afterward, the stadium where he suffered may still be seen.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck



1. The Same Spirit of Faith: Peter mentions having “like precious faith.” What kind of faith is meant by these terms?

2. Reward: Name several aspects of this brought out by these scriptures.

3. Light Affliction: Who else spoke of a “light” burden?

4. I Have Kept the Faith: Where was Paul when he wrote this?




We have traced the life of faith from its beginnings to the final climax. The “faith chapter,” Hebrews 11, also describes this journey, chronicling the earliest stories of faithful men all the way through the Old Testament and pointing forward to future faith stories of New Testament saints as making “perfect” or fulfilling what the ancient saints began. Our stories should be in there somewhere!

The Old Testament pilgrims looked forward by faith to the Messiah. They believed in Him and His coming kingdom although they never saw it or experienced it. We look backward by faith to both their prophecies and Christ’s advent here on earth. We have heard the word of His gospel preached by eyewitnesses down through the ages, and we stand very near the END of all things. We too have not seen Him, yet we believe in Him, love Him, and rejoice in Him with joy unspeakable.

Someday, the love we have for Him because He first loved us, that hopes all things, believes all things, bears all things, and endures all things for His dear sake; and the faith by which we have lived and walked, for which we have fought, and through which we conquer; shall be brought into fruition and into sight. We will see Him as He is. Sufferings will be glory, and sorrow will be joy. We will see the “end” of the Lord. Our faith will be LOST in sight!

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




In the first chapter of the first epistle of Peter, he speaks of the glorious reward and inheritance reserved in Heaven “for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” Then, in verse 7 he says, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” Hebrews 11:35-38 also mentions the Old Testament saints who were tortured, mocked, scourged, imprisoned, stoned, sawn asunder, destitute, afflicted, and tormented for their faith. Oh, what a day of reward it is going to be when the Lord descends from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, and all the heroes of faith come forth (from righteous Abel down to the very last of the faithful followers of Christ) and appear before the great white judgment throne! Truly, a reward is awaiting that is worth suffering for and worth dying for.

In October 2015 I was privileged to visit Rome, Italy, where I toured many ancient sites. Among them was a field of what used to be an arena in ancient Rome where, it was said, many early Christians were slain and martyred at the hands of the pagans. It was a sobering feeling as I walked across that field which, they said, in those ancient days was soaked with the blood of the martyrs. May we, like those early Christians, and like Moses, esteem the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treasures of this earth, having “respect unto the recompense of the reward,” patiently enduring whatever “light afflictions” may come our way to try our faith, keeping our eyes on “him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:26). Paul said, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).

“Jesus, we will follow in Thy footprints, Share Thy suffering and shame and loss;

For the glory that is set before us, We will triumph in the Savior’s cross.”

—Bro. Harlan Sorrell