4:13-18 The grace of faith is an effectual remedy against fainting in times of trouble. They knew that Christ was raised, and that his resurrection was an earnest and assurance of theirs. The hope of this resurrection will encourage in a suffering day, and set us above the fear of death. Also, their sufferings were for the advantage of the church, and to God's glory. The sufferings of Christ's ministers, as well as their preaching and conversation, are for the good of the church and the glory of God. The prospect of eternal life and happiness was their support and comfort. What sense was ready to pronounce heavy and long, grievous and tedious, faith perceived to be light and short, and but for a moment. The weight of all temporal afflictions was lightness itself, while the glory to come was a substance, weighty, and lasting beyond description. If the apostle could call his heavy and long-continued trials light, and but for a moment, what must our trifling difficulties be! Faith enables to make this right judgment of things. There are unseen things, as well as things that are seen. And there is this vast difference between them; unseen things are eternal, seen things but temporal, or temporary only. Let us then look off from the things which are seen; let us cease to seek for worldly advantages, or to fear present distresses. Let us give diligence to make our future happiness sure.
13. Translate as Greek, "BUT having," &c., that is, not withstanding the trials just mentioned, we having, &c.
the same spirit of faith, according as it, &c.—Compare Ro 8:15, on the usage of "spirit of faith." The Holy Spirit acting on our spirit. Though "death worketh in us, and life in you" (2Co 4:12), yet as we have the same spirit of faith as you, we therefore [believingly] look for the same immortal life as you [Estius], and speak as we believe. Alford not so well translates, "The same … faith with that described in the Scriptures" (Ps 116:10). The balance of the sentence requires the parallelism to be this, "According to that which is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak," namely, without fear, amidst "afflictions" and "deaths" (2Co 4:17).