I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
— Romans 8:18
An old friend of mine, a committed Christian, was recovering from an excruciating chemotherapy treatment. When I visited with him, he smiled and joked a lot. But at one point his face became serious. “I’d like to live for as long as God wants me to. But I’m not afraid to die, because I know Jesus,” he said.
Our reading for today is a powerful passage in which the apostle Paul discusses living, as a Christian, through the suffering that often comes as part of our fallen humanity. The apostle knows what pain and suffering are all about. So he is addressing this topic both personally and theologically.
Paul maintains that “our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” This does not minimize the pain we are going through. Rather, it elevates the much more outstanding glory to come.
How can Christ be glorified in us through our suffering? By our declaration of our love for him, by our trusting in his faithfulness, by our holding to the peace of God despite our pain and struggle. The Spirit always helps us—even if we don’t know what to do and how to pray about our situation.
In your suffering remember that God’s grace is real. Nothing can separate you from his love in Christ Jesus.
Our Father, encourage us with your Spirit when we go through difficult times. Even in our suffering remind us of the glory you have prepared for us in Christ. Amen.