Tuesday, 16 July 2013
For I consider 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
“For” refers directly back to the preceding thought, “if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” Our suffering in Christ may not be what we hope for but despite it, there is the promise of glorification ahead. This is what Paul is telling us and then he gives words to comfort us about these things.
Referring to himself in the third person in 2 Corinthians 12, he tells us that he was caught up to the “third heaven.” While there he “heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” If the hearing of Paradise was beyond our authorized knowledge, imagine what the seeing and experiencing must be. From one who had experienced first hand the glory to come, he considered “that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared” with what lay ahead.
And Paul knew suffering like most of us never will. In 2 Corinthians 11:22-29, he cites many of the trials and discomforts he had faced. Alone with his other infirmities, he was truly a man who would know. But to him, they were nothing. He knew and understood what was coming in an intimate way and so he, with this wonderful knowledge, implores us to follow in the footsteps of faith. Just as he had this certainty for himself, he shares to his reader of the “glory which shall be revealed in us.” Later, he will pass on the same sentiment to the readers in Corinth. When he does, he makes a contrast between the suffering and the glory. No matter how immense the suffering now, he says it is “light.” In contrast, the glory will be of “eternal weight” –
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17, 18
Life application: What is your pain? It will be healed for eternity. What is your sorrow? It will be exchanged for everlasting joy. What is your worry? It will be swapped out for comfort throughout the ages. If this is true, then the hope of it should carry you through the moment with peace and contentment. Place your cares on the Lord, for He cares for you.
Precious Lord Jesus, You suffered at the cross so that I could stand before Your Father in glory. What can man do to me that could diminish the joy I feel. I will be content in my trials, in my sorrows, and in my weaknesses because in this contentment they reveal that I am truly Yours. I don’t ask for these, but if and when they come, I will be pleased to accept them as a gift of Your grace. Amen.