PRESENT SUFFERING FOR FUTURE GLORY
Why do bad things happen to good people? Why is there tragedy in the world? Can’t God stop the death and destruction that surrounds us? These questions we often find ourselves asking are the same questions people in Paul’s (the author of Romans) day were asking.
As we seek to find the answer to the question of good and evil and it’s relationship to a loving and Almighty God, we often carry these common views of God and heaven:
1. Today, many of us have an understanding of God that heaven is a far-off place and the promise of heaven is an insurance policy for when we die.
2. Many of us look at God and know that God is the Almighty, and we can’t understand how he hasn’t solved our pain and anxiety.
These two views have the potential to put us in a posture of fear and bitterness and cause us to live out of those things.
However, in Romans 8:18, Paul gives us this hope that “our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” What Paul is saying is there will be a day that will look different than today, day when God’s kingdom will come in full, when the things that plague us will be no more, when God’s glory will be seen in its fullness, and we will be living in a way that many of us cannot even imagine.
This promise paints a hopeful picture that our future is not us going to heaven but a reality where heaven invades earth and all of the pain and suffering passes away to reveal something that is far beyond the grasp of our current understanding. Therefore, we can endure the pain and suffering now, for it’s only a little while more until He can come and set everything right.
Although the promise of future glory is enough to rejoice in alone, Paul also explains that if we are a follower of Jesus, we have the opportunity for a unique relationship with the Holy Spirit where the goodness of God actually lives in us and is available for us today. He even tells us that the Holy Spirit prays passionately for us and over us every day for God’s will to come in our life.
In all this, we learn that our lives should be one of a posture of hope, not in the things we can see around us – but in the things that we have yet to see God do. Such hope allows us to live a life of joy and gratitude amidst suffering for what God is doing and what he has yet to do.
As you go through this week, read through these passages and let God’s word reveal new truths to you and let those truths set you free.
In your prayer time, take time to pray through these things…
-Acknowledge the Holy Spirit’s presence in your life. Invite the Holy Spirit’s prayers for you to wash over you.
-Write down one or two things that cause you fear, anxiety, anger, or bitterness. Bring those things before God and tell him openly your feelings about those things. Allow God to speak to you after you do. Write down what you feel him saying.