The Sufferings of This Present Time
By David J. Stewart
Romans 8:17, 18, “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 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.”
What a wonderful passage of Scripture!
First, the Apostle Paul addresses the "sufferings of this present time." Everyone endures some degree of suffering in this earthly life, some much more than others. There is no pain like the pain caused when a spouse files for divorce and abandons. There is no sense of loss as that of losing one's children. It is difficult to continue in life when one's health is poor and pain is a constant companion. There is nothing more frustrating than jealous and malicious co-workers who enjoy harassing and making one's life more difficult on a daily basis. There is nothing more disappointing than to have one's plans for the future destroyed. Living can so easily turn into surviving in this frail world in which we dwell. There is no guarantee of success, happiness, or health in life. The only guarantee is problems and death.
The Apostle Paul had more than his share of problems, disappointments and frustrations in life. In 2nd Corinthians 11:23-27 the Apostle Paul shares with us some of the hardships of life he went through . . .
"...in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness."
But notice, secondly, what the Apostle Paul said in Romans 8:18 concerning our present sufferings . . .
"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.”
Amen! The born-again Christian, especially those who are serving God have much to look forward to in eternity! Paul set his heart upon Heaven and rejoiced, hoping for the day when he would forever be with the Lord Jesus Christ.
What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.
The richest person on earth won't have as much as the poorest saint in Heaven. The happiest person on earth won't be as happy as the saddest saint in Heaven. He that is least in the kingdom of Heaven is greater than the greatest man on earth. Matthew 11:11, “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” God has many wonderful things planned for the believer in Heaven, especially for those who are soul winners. 1st Corinthians 2:9, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” Daniel 12:3, “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” Amen!
All of our present sufferings in this world cannot be compared to the glory (honour and dignity) which shall be revealed in us through Christ Jesus. Whereas this world hates, curses, despises and rejects us because we are God's children, the Bible promises in Romans 8:17 that we will be glorified with Christ in Heaven. We are joint-heirs together with Jesus Christ. Amen! Romans 8:7, "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." We are not worthy of such honor, but God in His wondrous mercy has made us joint-heirs with Jesus by means of His blood sacrifice.
The Apostle Paul, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, assures us that all of our present sufferings cannot be compared to what God has in store for the believer in Heaven. What a day that will be!
You Need HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS!