“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!” Romans 8:18
The mortification of sin—proves that we have the life of God;
the life of God—proves that we are the children of God;
being the children of God—proves that we are the heirs of God;
and being the heirs of God—proves that our inheritance is sure!
We shall share with Christ. We shall share as Christ, being joint heirs with him. As we shall be like Christ in his glory—we must be first conformed to him in his humiliation; and if we are conformed to Jesus when he humbled himself, we shall suffer, and perhaps suffer greatly. But however great, varied, or long-continued our sufferings may be, we are encouraged to endure them with patience and fortitude from the conclusion of the apostle, when he says, “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!” (Romans 8:18). Let us consider,
The Comparison. Paul compares present sufferings—with future glory. Believers are exposed to all kinds of suffering, and instead of obtaining an exemption on the ground of their sonship or heirship, they are assured that it is through much tribulation they must enter into the kingdom of God. How much some suffer in mind from doubts and fears, from horrid suggestions, vile insinuations, and violent temptations, from the working of corruption, and the constant conflict between the flesh and the spirit!
Some endure inward suffering, with which no one is fully acquainted but God Himself. They have such darkness, gloom, distress, agitation, trouble, and sorrow—as would not be easy to describe.
Some suffer much in body, from the stressed and disordered state of the nervous system, from chronic diseases, or deformities in the physical frame. They seldom move without suffering, and for years together have but little freedom from weakness and pain. They live a life of suffering, a kind of dying life, and think much of heaven as of a place where there is no more pain.
Some suffer much financially; scarcely anything seems to prosper with them; losses, crosses, and opposition meet them at every turn; and though they wish to live honestly, and conduct their business honorably, they are thwarted, hindered, and filled with perplexity. No one can tell what they suffer from financial trials and difficulties.
Others suffer from reproach, misrepresentation, strife, and persecution in the world, or in the Church, or both. No one seems to understand them, or is prepared to sympathize with them; they are like “a sparrow alone upon the house-top.” False friends and open enemies unite to trouble and distress them, so that they often sigh, and say, “O that I had wings like a dove, for then would I fly away and be at rest!”
Others suffer in the domestic circle, or from some of the relationships of life, are called to suffer long and seriously.
But whether from trouble of mind, sickness of body, trials in business, family disorder, or persecution for Christ’s sake—all suffer, and most believers suffer much!