Let’s read 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 to us” (NKJV). It is a fact that the child of God WILL SUFFER here in this scene of sin. The Apostle Paul knew this firsthand; in fact, shortly after he was saved the Lord told a man named Ananias that “he (the Apostle Paul) is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things HE MUST SUFFER FOR MY NAME’S SAKE” (Acts 9:15-16). As Paul faithfully served his blessed Lord and Savior he suffered in countless ways. In 2nd Corinthians 11:23-28 he rehearses some of his sufferings: “In STRIPES above measure, in PRISONS more frequently, in DEATHS often…I received forty STRIPES minus one…three times I was BEATEN WITH RODS; once I was STONED; three times I was SHIPWRECKED; and night and day I have been IN THE DEEP…in PERILS OF WATERS…ROBBERS…MY OWN COUNTRYMEN…of GENTILES…in the CITY…the WILDERNESS…the SEA…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.” I believe I can safely say that none of us have even come close to suffering as the Apostle Paul did.

Yet Paul could say, “I endure ALL THINGS for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which in is Christ Jesus with eternal glory” (2nd Timothy 2:10). He knew that God had chosen people to be saved but they needed to hear the gospel to “obtain salvation” (see Romans 10:9-15) and he was willing to endure all the sufferings just mentioned to reach them with the gospel of Christ. He knew that once they were saved they too would be called upon to suffer for we read in Philippians 1:29, “For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to SUFFER FOR HIS SAKE.” But he also knew, as we just saw, that besides SUFFERING FOR CHRIST, they would also have a share IN ETERNAL GLORY WITH CHRIST. This is what propelled the apostle on in his service for Christ; he knew that the Day is coming when all our “suffering for Christ” will end and our “eternal glory with Christ” will begin and never end!

He also knew that there was really NO COMPARISON between the two and thus he could say in truth, “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us.” He would have all believers to keep their hearts and minds focused on this blessed truth in times of suffering. We see in 2nd Corinthians 4:16-18, for after listing other ways that he suffered for Christ (in verses 8-12) he could say:  “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our LIGHT AFFLICTION, which is but FOR A MOMENT, is working for us a far more EXCEEDING AND ETERNAL WEIGHT OF GLORY, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are TEMPORARY, but the things which are not seen are ETERNAL.” Notice how Paul compared the two. We may look at our afflictions as HEAVY and LONG-LASTING, but in light of the coming “exceeding and eternal weight of glory,” our sufferings are actually LIGHT AFFLICTIONS and FOR A MOMENT. Dear fellow-believers, may we all look at these things as the Apostle Paul did, for as he compared his SUFFERINGS with the coming GLORY he actually lost sight of “the things which are seen” and fixed his eye of faith on “the things which are not seen” (in eternal glory). May our daily prayer be, “Lord, give me to set my sight on the GLORY and to be willing to SUFFER for Your sake, knowing that ‘the sufferings of this present time is not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us.’”  (424.5)  (DO)