(18) 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 KJV)
I recently took a look around and I saw the suffering that is going around in this world today. The dieases, the famines, natural disasters, violence that is running rampant. Moreover, I really began to pay attention to the battles that the children of God has been facing. It seems as though we are under attack like never before. A few weeks back I told a friend. That the body of Christ has been under attack in more intense ways. That we are all being tried and tested. For some of us the suffering came in the form of losing a child, a parent, a spouse to death. For others its battling illnesses such as cancer, lupus,diabetes, anxiety and depression. For others its divorce or the talk of divorce. For many it was financial loss such as the loss of a job or having to shut a business down. One of the biggest sufferings that I see which we don’t see in America where I live but we see it in places like China, Afghanistan and recently Ukraine the wars and the persecution of christians. It is hard not to take a look at what is going on around us and not feel some sort of discouragement. When we look at things with our natural eyes. Its easy to fear the worst. Then the apostle Paul gives us a ray of hope in the above scripture. He tells us that the suffering of this present time. Will not compare to the glory that is to be revealed in us. In other words. What we are going through now. It is producing a glory in us. It will be so glorious that the two. The suffering and the glory will not even come close to comparing. This glory however, that Paul speaks of. It will not be revealed in us. On this side of Heaven. Paul is letting us know that yes while we are here on this earth. That we will have to walk through trials and tribulations. We will face persecution and suffering. We will walk through pain and hardship, but there will be a glory that will be revealed in us in Heaven. That will make the turmoil we face now. Seem like nothing.
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ sufferings, that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. (1 Peter 4:13 KJV)
Now the apostle Peter lets us know that we are to rejoice in our trials and in our hardships. Inasmuch as which means that in the degree that it makes us partakers of Christ in his suffering. As I was preparing this. The Holy Spirit spoke and said. As God’s children we want to be Christ-like and we take that to mean. Walking in his authority. Having victory over our circumstances, over our strongholds and our addictions. To be Christ-like also means being able to partake in his sufferings. Jesus walked in power, yet he also had to walk through suffering. Peter tells us that we are to rejoice in our suffering because it makes us partakers with Christ. Are a better way that I can put it is. That we will be like Christ. Paul tells us back in Romans about the glory that will be revealed in us and now Peter tells us when his glory shall be revealed in us. Both Peter and Paul is referring to the glory of Christ. I am beginning to understand that this glory will only be revealed in and through the suffering of these present times. A lot of the time we think that we are somehow being punished by God. When we go through our trials. God is not punishing you, but he heard your prayers when you prayed God use me. He heard you when you said make me more like like Jesus. Understand this. In order for us to be made more like Jesus. We must be partakers of his suffering. Therefore, we are to rejoice in our suffering in Colossians 3:4 it tells us when Christ who is our life, shall appear , then he also appear with him in glory. This is the reason why we rejoice. For when Christ appears then we too shall appear with him in glory.
Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. (Acts 14:22 KJV)
I like to call this an encouraging scripture. It encourages us to keep walking in faith. This passage of scripture. Let’s us know that through many tribulations that we are to enter into heaven. I wish that this verse would be something that more pastors preached from. Then maybe more new converts would be prepared for the journey ahead. I remember growing up as a child hearing sermons being preached. That made it seem that once you accepted Christ. The road became easier. I believe that is why many walk away, especially in the beginning of their walk because of this lie. That it gets easier. That is why I love this verse because it encourages us to keep pressing on in the faith. This verse does not promise us easy. In fact it guarantees the opposite of easy. Scripture lets us know through tribulation that we enter into the kingdom of God. In John 16:33 Jesus Christ in the world he shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. So when Peter tells us to rejoice in 1 Peter 4. It is because he understands this fact. That Jesus had already overcome the world. So not only may we rejoice in our tribulation. We can have peace and confidence cause Christ has already overcome this world!
Paul tells us that the suffering of this present time does not compare to the glory which is to come. That is why we are not to look at our present circumstances with our natural eyes. I know that is hard. It is difficult to look past what we see. Just now that whatever you are walking through. Won’t compare to the glory that is to come. Remember the bible tells us that we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians5:7).