I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is about to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18
There are times in our lives when we feel as if we are aching and groaning under the weight of so many expectations, anxieties, and demands. Life feels like a strain, and not the joy we want it to be. Even in moments of true suffering, however, our trials are not nearly as arduous as those that Paul and the earliest Christian had to endure. Life for them was harsh, and life as a Christian was downright dangerous.
In the midst of it all, Paul had a vision of the future that gave him immense hope. He believed in a liberated creation in which the entire world and all who are in it are redeemed, made whole, healthy, and joyful. Through his faith in Jesus Christ, Paul sensed that the world was on the brink of a new and glorious age, guided by the very Spirit and presence of God. To Paul’s mind, all suffering in the world paled in comparison to the glory that he sensed just on the horizon.
How do you endure suffering?
Lord God, there are times when grief, disappointment, and despair get the best of me. There are moments when I am tempted to lose heart and hope. I want to believe that the pain of life will be overcome by Your plan for the world. But sometimes I doubt. I wish I had Paul’s faith in the future. Please build my confidence in You, and in what you are doing in the world, so that even in the face of suffering I can look forward to that which is to come. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.