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Read Introduction to Romans

 

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

 

that the sufferings of this present time [season or kind of time rather than sequence of time]

Sufferings here in time are reversals common to the human race. The most shared of these are physical in nature, such as disease. We also suffer from other things, such as mental anguish, natural disasters, and accidents. Most misery a Christian faces is self-induced.

Suffering for the Christian is only for time. There is no suffering for him in eternity. Time has a quantifiable duration; eternity is timeless. There is shortness to this temporal age from an eternal viewpoint.

2 Co 4: 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,

From an eternal point of view, suffering for the Christian is exceedingly short. It is a drop in the bucket compared to eternity, and there will be no suffering in eternity. The purpose of suffering in time is to bless the believer.

are not worthy to be compared with the glory

“Worthy” carries the idea of like value. Suffering in time is not worthy to be compared with our future glorified state. There is insignificance to sufferings when we compare them to eternal glory. Sufferings are only for time but our glory is forever. The pain that we go through in the present is worthwhile in the light of eternal glory. This glory will reflect the glory of the Lord when He returns to earth at His Second Advent.

which shall be [about to be] revealed in us.

The words “shall be” or about to be indicate more than that something will happen in the future; rather, this event is destined to certain accomplishment. The Holy Spirit reveals no special time when this will happen. However, the idea is that Christians have certain prospect of glorification.

The revelation of our glorified state will be revealed to us and through us. Note that this phrase does not say that God will reveal the glory “to” us but “in” us (although “to” may be an alternative translation). This glory will enter us and envelop us to be revealed in us. We will be part of that glory. We will see it in each other.

The idea of “revealed” is unveiled, as in removal of a covering. We unveil a statute’s covering after an artist works long and hard on it. Man’s idea is that things evolve, getting better and better. God’s idea is that, in a cataclysmic event, He will set things straight. He will dramatically unveil a glorious future at the Second Coming of Christ.

PRINCIPLE:

There is no proportion between the finite and the infinite.

APPLICATION:

Since there is no proportion between the finite and the infinite; there is no comparison between suffering in time and the joy of the glorified state in eternity. Suffering shrinks into insignificance when we look at it from the viewpoint of glorification. There is a qualitative difference between our suffering in time and our glorification in eternity.

If a Christian truly gets hold of the idea that this world is not our home but we are just passing through, it will change his viewpoint completely. Present suffering will be put into perspective. We will see the entire creation on the tiptoe of expectancy as we look toward future glory. Our light affliction, which is just for a moment, and the eternal weight of glory are vastly two different things.

Our time on earth is miniscule in comparison with eternity, and the glory of life with God is qualitatively different from our experience in time. We cannot allow the difficulties of this life to minimize our hope of heaven.

2 Co 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 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.

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