Romans 8:18, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."
Paul's main point in this whole chapter is this: You can be assured of being in Christ through the worst of situations. The sufferings that are even hard for us to utter-- they are not worthy to even be compared with the glory we have to look forward to. Paul uses the word "consider". It means, "I reckon." It's a mental accounting. The evidence is in, he's weighed it out, and they do not even compare. To balance, you have two sides. There are three points about the first side of the balance, our present sufferings, my pastor drew out:
1) What does Paul mean by "present sufferings"?
In the context of the passage, he is talking about the raging, painful suffering we experience from the indwelling of sin. This is the battle spoken of in Galatians 5:16-26. He is a great example of a godly man going through suffering. In other passages, Paul elaborates on his constant struggle with his flesh. If we don't know this battle, we are not living for Christ. If we are apathetic regarding our personal sin struggles, we are not walking close enough to God. With no agony in our soul, we cannot be a totally surrendered person.
2) We will suffer persecutions in this hostile world:
In 2 Corinthians 11, Paul goes into detail about his sufferings, "...in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness— besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches."
O.o We will experience persecution from the world when we walk with the Lord. If we are not struggling with this, maybe we are being too welcoming? The Gospel is offensive to those who do not know it's truth and may we not shirk back when met with hostility.
3) Romans 8 is the perfect place for Paul to address this:
The context of the chapter gives us hope that while we are suffering from our experiences, we can trust that the Lord is using it to make our inner man stronger. As the outer man receives more and more pressure, it puts strain on the inner. While we are in this painful agony of "Why, Lord?!" we can be assured of Christ's love, because of these sufferings.
Putting all of this on the balance, it does not even compare to the other side-- the glory which shall be revealed in us.
When we question the reason for why we are going through something, Romans 8:28-30 gives us the answer: "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son..." We can know the end result of our sufferings! 2 Corinthians 3:18 fits in here too, " But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord." His church is victorious! And as we behold this in the mirror, we are changed into glory.
What is this glory? It is the fullness of God's attributes. His love, His grace, His goodness. He changes people via these attributes and communicates these things to us, that we might be transformed into the image of His Son.
There are successive stages of sanctification for each of us personally. Not that we are any more sin-less as time goes on, but the Lord sanctifies us one trial at a time, one blind spot, one bad attitude. He is changing us from glory to glory. One day in an instant we will know Him face to face! God says we can't comprehend this glorification right now, but He will finish the work He has started in us. We will be like His Son. Wow.
What if we don't feel this inward struggle with sin? We may not be convicted of our sins deep enough. We need to seek God and He may take us to a dark hour-- but that suffering is not to be even compared, it has no weight against, it doesn't even start moving the balance, with the glory that is to come. This gives us courage to endure well. Live well. Die well. Let's lay up treasures for that day.
This was such an easy outfit! Simple red polka-dot dress, neutral cardigan, and printed infinity scarf that doubled as a headcovering. There are a few of this print left over at Bell Tower Boutique, but hurry if you want to get one, because they are going fast! :)
// outfit details //
Dress: Stephanie Charles: thredUP
Cardigan: Gilly Hicks: thredUP
Shoes: Charity store: $2
Earrings: Charity store: $2
Scarf: Bell Tower Boutique