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From Suffering to Glory

Romans 8:18
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

It should be no surprise that our earthly pathway, as believers in Jesus, is marked by suffering. His was! Some experience very little, and when it comes it is a nasty shock; for others the suffering is constant, only the intensity varies. Of course, suffering is a part of the fallen and rebellious world. We are not in the Garden of Eden, nor are we in heaven. Everywhere you look, something is not quite right, and affects us adversely, fulfilling the promises of Genesis 3. Such suffering is common to all people, whether they believe or not.

But there is a special suffering which comes to believers, the product of the hatred of the devil and the world, and the resistance of our own sinful nature to God. Try as we may, we can never really make sense of persecution, Satan's focused malice towards us; or understand the pain resulting from our own wickedness: they are always senseless and destructive. But Paul says they can, and must, be put into perspective. Our sufferings are microscopic compared to the glory which we will experience when Jesus Christ returns.

That is why we must not live with our noses in the mud of life. Lowering our horizon to the spiritual darkness around us will make us believe that there is nothing else to live for. What a lie! Our brief stay on earth is infinitely small compared to the whole of eternity with our Saviour. Our transient pain, like that of childbirth, will be eclipsed by the everlasting joy of His presence. Although we carry our uffering today, we will be carried along for ever by His glory: indeed 2 Timothy 2:12 says, "... if we endure, we will also reign with him." So do not ignore suffering, because God is at work; equally do not forget that glory will soon be upon us when Jesus returns. Live in the light of that Day!

Gracious God. Thank You for the example of the Lord Jesus, who for the joy that was before Him, endured the cross. I am sorry when I complain and bemoan my little sufferings, thinking they have no end. Please help me to keep Your glorious reign in sharp focus, working towards that Day and anticipating its joy. May my confident and glad attitude be an inspiration to those who live and work with me, encouraging them to seek Jesus also. In His Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams