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
I used to despise this verse. I mean, suffer why? For what? How is the suffering necessary for my glorification? We’ve asked the questions, now let’s answer them. Before I say anything however, I will like to state that Christian suffering is different from punishment.
Christian suffering is suffering without any fault of yours. Punishment is simply the repercussion of our actions. Even though God redeems in both instances, we must know the difference.
We suffer to be able to partake in the enjoyment in Christ Jesus.
The Bible says in 2 Timothy 13:12, “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” The persecutions are to build us and make us strong in God. The evidence of the love and power of God in our lives is our victory over suffering.
We suffer to cement our faith.
Isaiah 43:2. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
I was driving home in a storm one late night with my father. He was asleep. I couldn’t see, I was so afraid. I was driving too slowly in the motorway suddenly I felt my fathers hand on my shoulder.
I gathered a certain courage and drove us all the way home knowing that Daddy is here and he’s awake and he can see better and he can guide me. How much more our Father in Heaven? Who knows all and sees all, even before it happens ? The one who knew our names before we were formed.
Finally, we suffer to build character.
Gal 2:20 AMP I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
If you don’t get the picture, the transformation from fickle sinful humans to glorious gods is painful. But every beautification process is painful. Ask the Kardashians. We suffer so that we can be purified and pressurized into precious diamond and pure gold. Look at it as travailing unto birth.
So yes, the suffering of this day cannot compare to the glory which is to come. And so holding tightly to this fact, let’s trust in God, and trust in his grace and eternal provision for us, knowing that all things are working for our good because we love him.