Advent Reading Week 3 Part 1

Romans 8:18. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
There’s a lot to this verse. It’s an admission that life doesn’t always go the way we think it should, that sometimes, to be perfectly blunt, it sucks. Yet in this verse there’s also this hopeful defiance. As if Paul is telling himself as much as us, that there is still something to rejoice about. Even when life, family, friends, whatever, sucks. What though? What do we have to cling to when all of life is awful?
A future hope. We have the expectation, the hope, the promise, the faith that there is a better thing coming. Paul doesn’t say that the suffering by itself is great. He says that when he compares it to what is coming, to that final moment when he sees Christ face-to-face, and is finally made like Him, that’s what makes it worth it. It reframes how we think about suffering I think. We’re not suffering just to suffer. We are suffering FOR something, there is a grander purpose to it.
The focus and perspective is moved off the suffering, and placed instead upon the ending. It is moved from the ground to the finish line. This verse offers a very real, very sober encouragement, and that encouragement is this: suffering is coming, and indeed, it may already have found you, but there is some grander design behind it. The glory that you will see in Christ, the ultimate joy and peace and satisfaction you will finally have in Him, make it so, so worth it.
It’s almost as if it cultivates this eager expectation for the ending. Where we finally see the ultimate purpose of suffering, instead of just believing there is one

No Comments