I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
Floods, droughts, volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, forest fires. There’s scarcely a week when we don’t hear of some catastrophic event turning life upside down, leading to the death of many and the suffering of many more. Sickness, physical and mental, pain, suffering, discomfort, broken hearts. We’re all affected by these one way or the other. Sometimes life is tough. Sometimes life seems unbearable.
But there is hope.
That’s why the Christian message is good news. Whilst the world suffers, the gospel brings comfort and hope. Hope of a future that is immeasurably better than the world we live in today.
It’s that hope that Paul reminds us of today in this verse from Romans. We might be suffering in the present, but we shouldn’t dwell too much on our current condition. Instead we must look forward to the future. If we’re Christians, we need to take a long term perspective on suffering. We might live for seventy or eighty years, perhaps more if we’re lucky. Those years will be spent in our fallen world that at times seems bleak and dark, a world that is ravaged by evil, sickness and death. But after our death, our souls will live on in the new creation, where there will be no death or suffering. We will spend eternity with our Father in heaven.
When the time comes, the glory of God will be revealed in us in the same way it was revealed in Jesus (most notably at the transfiguration, see Luke 9). We are told that we will be like him (see 1 John 3:2). In the new creation, our bodies will not suffer from injury, disease or affliction as they do now, and our minds will be free of the stress, depression and disappointment of today. Instead, we will live as God intended, in a new world that is free all of the negative aspects of human life today. In heaven our bodies and our lives will radiate the glory of God, just like Jesus himself does.
Life can be very tough. Remember, though, as you face setbacks and disappointments in the coming days, that these are only temporary. Do not dwell on negativity, but look forward to the future, to the hope of resurrection through Christ into a new creation that is perfect. And remember, we’re all called to make disciples, so don’t keep this message of hope to yourself, but strive to bring it to the world through your actions, through your relationships, and through your words.
Let’s prepare for now for he glory of the future!