To the Christians at Rome, the apostle Paul wrote: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
Paul does not belittle nor deny the sufferings of this present time. In his epistles, he catalogs his own sufferings for the sake of Christ – beatings, imprisonments, shipwrecks, persecutions and hardships of all kinds.
The great heroes of faith listed on the pages of Scripture all have this in common – suffering – times of dread testing when God is silent and seems not to be listening at all:
Noah, cast adrift on the waters of the great flood. Abraham, challenged to choose between his love for God and his love for his son, Isaac. Joseph, locked up in prison on false charges. Moses, standing alone against an ancient empire – and too often against his own grumbling people. David, God’s heir apparent, dodging spears and hiding out in the caves of the Judean badlands.
But what does the Bible say of all these heroes of faith? Hebrews 11 says: “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth…they were longing for a better country – a heavenly one.”
There is no “like unto” on this earth that we can use to adequately describe the glories of heaven for which we wait. There is only the firm conviction of faith that the liabilities of this life weigh nothing in the scales compared to the assets of heaven. However bad things may be in your life now – however bad they may get – they are not even worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us, says Paul.
In other words, “We ain’t seen nothin’ yet!” Over our deepest wounds and our darkest days, God has inscribed the word: “Temporary.” These things shall not last. They are but one tick of the clock. The glory for which we wait is eternal. Or as Paul said it elsewhere: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him, but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.”