Suffering Versus Glory
Scripture Reading — Romans 8:18-27
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth com-paring with the glory that will be revealed in us. — Romans 8:18
Claiming what this verse says is easier for some than for others. It depends on what kind of suffering you have experienced or are currently enduring.
Paul is being realistic. Whether it’s trying to make sense of ourselves, fighting off sin, struggling in relationship, bearing wounds of brokenness, being limited by health, enduring the pain of depression or a host of other situations, suffering is real for Christians as well as non-Christians.
Paul wants us to gain perspective, so he invites us to compare our suffering to the glory that will be revealed in us. But Paul does not define that glory as life without adversity, as if we won’t have health issues or financial needs or marital struggles or the like. Our goal is not so much to beat suffering as it is to live fully and completely as children of God.
God reminds us that we have his Spirit—always. And the Spirit will help us in all situations, interceding for us even if we struggle to pray. Even in the worst of times, we are not alone. I find great comfort in that.
When I suffer, I need that reminder. I may want an easier life, but what I need most is to know that God is continually with me and at work in me.
Heavenly Father, in times of struggle and suffering, assure me of your strengthening presence in my life and remind me of what that means for the future. Through Jesus Christ, Amen.