For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 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. (2 Corinthians 4:17, 18, KJV)
See, we always need to bear in mind this contrast between the temporal (the flesh, the grass) and the eternal (the unseen, the Word of God, the truth that never changes, the life of God which is always the same).
Here is the very important practical application. Our light affliction works for us only while we do what? While we look where? Only while we look at the things which are not seen. The moment you take your eyes off those, your affliction isn’t working. Our affliction only works when we take our eyes off of the things which are seen: our sickness; our problems; our financial difficulties; the strife and disorder in our homes; the criticism and opposition that we meet in doing the Lord’s work. If we look at those things, our affliction is not working for us.
But our affliction works for us a far more and exceeding eternal weight of glory while we look at the things which are not seen. What are those? The eternal things: the Word of God which abides forever; the power of God; the love of God; the faithfulness of God; the mercy of God which never changes.
Everything depends on where you are looking. When you sink down into your own trouble and pressure and affliction, you take your eyes off the eternal things—and the Holy Spirit stops working. He can do no more for you until you get your eyes back where they belong, which is off the temporal onto the eternal. What is God doing? He is wooing you from being a creature of time to being a creature of eternity.