Looking Forward

Romans 8:18-21 The Message (MSG)

18-21 That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18 NIV

According to Dictionary.com, Suffer in verb form, with an object is: to undergo, be subjected to, or endure (pain, distress, injury, loss, or anything unpleasant).

 Anything unpleasant? There are a multitude of situations we encounter daily that would be considered suffering according to this definition. Having an incapacitating head cold. Wanting eggs for breakfast, only to find there are none, so, you “suffer” through with a piece of toast., “We have to wash dishes by hand?” Oh, the horror of a broken dishwasher. A co-worker who talks incessantly, about the same thing everyday. Portland traffic. These sufferings are survivable, truly in the scheme of life, a mere inconvenience.  Wait?…What?…But?…Seriously?!

There are those who truly suffer. Having a body riddled with cancer. Waiting 9 months to hold your newborn who, after hours of labor is stillborn. Losing someone so dear, a mother, father, sister, brother, spouse, child, or friend,  Living with abuse or the reminder of. Living in the world today is in a way suffering.

Some handle suffering with grace and dignity. You may never know they are suffering. Others, will let you know every detail of their suffering. We all handle the challenges of life differently.

People who have a faith and hope in Jesus tend to brush the suffering aside. They know something the rest of us are not aware of; or at least we don’t realize we are aware of. They know the future. Jesus has laid it out there for them, for us.

My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.
Trusting in Christ, knowing He is with us every step of the way. With our hope and faith in Him our lives are preserved.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
Perseverance to live out the life He has given us and called us to. Be it with suffering or joy. A mixture of both, like oil colors in a rain puddle. Swirled and moving.

“That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times.”

We are here, on earth, living life in a fallen and sin filled world. Life can be unpleasant. We will suffer, we will want to give up. We will have joys and victories. Above all will stand firm in Christ and His promises. Why wouldn’t we?

The glory we have waiting for us is beyond comprehension. Joy unspeakable. No experience here will come close to what awaits us in Heaven. It is truly ineffable.

In the Glory of Christ,

Amen

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