‘For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed in us’ (Rom 8:18).
This is an audacious verse. Can you imagine being as bold as Paul is with these words? Paul stacks up all the sufferings of this life – the sufferings of persecution, sickness, famine, war, oppression and poverty – and he decides that stacked up next to the future glory that waits for us, there is no point in comparing them. The glory so far outshines our misery that it would be futile to compare them.
Can you imagine seriously trying to compare the speed of Usain Bolt and a toddler just learning to walk? Or comparing the size of a flee to an elephant? It would be pointless, ridiculous, odd. That’s what Paul is expressing with this non-comparison.
We all know the pain of suffering. We’ve all experienced loss, sickness, heartache – and if you haven’t, that means you haven’t lived long enough. Sometimes the pain is sharp and intense, at other times it’s dull and constant.
But the glory that is to be revealed in us is so great and wondrous that these sufferings all pale into nothingness. Can you believe it? Does it sound too much? So far-fetched that Paul must be exaggerating?
The pain of this life can be intense. Whether you’ve experienced the loss of a loved one, a serious illness, financial hardship, or any other suffering, let these words fill your heart with joy. As bad as things get here, it’s not worth comparing with what will be, if only we hold on to our trust in Jesus.
It’s beyond my imagination. How can this be real? Through all our suffering, let’s hold on to Jesus and find out!