This morning, Sue and I had a good laugh as we read together of what has got to be, by the author’s own admission, among the worst honeymoons ever (you can check it out by clicking here). And while such things can be humorous in hindsight, it must have been awful for these newlyweds as they went through it. At times wondering if they would even survive, much less if their marriage would survive. But my sense is that not only did they live to tell about it, but that, though they went though a week or so of what may of seemed like h-e-double-hockey-sticks, they have enjoyed many years since then as man and wife. When all was said it done, what happened then probably wasn’t worth comparing to what they are enjoying now. Kind of like something I read this morning in Romans 8.
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–=heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (Romans 8:16-18 ESV)
Not worth comparing. That’s how Paul characterizes the sufferings of this present time with the glory to be revealed to us.
No matter how bad it can get . . . and I don’t diminish the fact that for many it gets pretty bad . . . but, no matter how bad it can get, God’s word promises that it pales in comparison as to how good it will become when the glory is revealed.
I flashback to 1985. My mom has passed at the age of 48 due to lung cancer. Ugly, ugly stuff. The last few months, horrible. But I remember the joy that flooded my soul when, as we packed up her things, I opened the Bible we had given her, and as I thumbed through it found Romans 8:18 highlighted. Dying of lung cancer . . . not worth comparing to the glory to be revealed.
Continue reading in the chapter and what’s to come is described as “the revealing of the sons of God” (8:19) . . . as obtaining “the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (8:21) . . . as waiting eagerly for “adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (8:23). That, says the Father through the inspired writing of Paul, is the hope in which we were saved. That’s the end game. Not a better life now . . . but an unimaginable existence then. Not the material stuff we accumluate which fades, corrodes, and eventually will be burned up . . . but ” an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1Peter 1:4).
No matter how bad it seems now . . . or even how good we may think it is now . . . not worth comparing.
And as I read on . . . it’s not like we’re left alone to deal with that which life deals us. The Spirit helps us in our weakness (8:27) as He intercedes for us. Christ Jesus, the One who died for our sins, He who rose the third day for our justification, is even right now at the right hand of God — and He too “indeed is interceding for us” (8:34). Nothing, says Paul, nothing will separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (8:37). Despite “tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword”, . . . “in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (8:35, 37).
More than conquerors here and now . . . way more than conquerors there and then . . . on that day when the glory is revealed.
Keep on keepin’ on, saint. For it’s not worth comparing.
All because of grace . . . and all for His glory!