For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (ESV)
Perspective. What an important word. Let's be honest. We do not like the idea of suffering. We will do almost anything to avoid any kind of suffering. Some churches have gone so far as to preach against the idea of suffering, declaring it to not be a part of the true believer's life. Paul is not shy about the topic.
Paul uses the sufferings of this present time as a means to consider the greater glory that awaits us. Perspective. Paul is not in any way attempting to diminish our suffering. A view toward eternity puts our suffering in a proper understanding. Yes, our suffering is terrible. In the grand scheme of eternity it is not even worth comparison.
Maybe you are thinking that Paul does not know what he is talking about when it comes to suffering. In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul describes countless beatings, often near death, being stoned, shipwrecked, in danger from all kinds of men, dealing with hunger, thirst, cold, and exposure. Clearly, Paul knows what he is talking about in regards to suffering.
This perspective helps us to view Heaven in a much better way. If the comparison of what awaited Paul made his sufferings, which were substantial, seem insignificant then we can be assured that what awaits us is far greater than we had previously imagined. When you look at suffering in your own life, look up. Suffering lasts but a night. Joy comes in the morning.
Are you struggling with some kind of suffering? Look up. Know that the Savior loves you so much he has prepared a place where the suffering you are enduring now will some day be deemed completely insignificant compared to the glory you will be living in.
American Christian know very little about Suffering for Christ. In many countries Christians are severely persecuted. Here most of our suffering is self inflicted. We suffer the consequences of our own errors. That is not the suffering that comes with a reward. Paul saw suffering for Christ as the very best of investments.Delete