I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
In 1996, the glitz and glamour of Hollywood received a heavy dose of perspective, if only for a moment. It was the 68th Annual Academy Awards. As usual, the pre-ceremony buzz was all about who would receive Oscars. Would Meryl Streep win for Best Actress, or Susan Sarandon? Would Nicolas Cage win for Best Actor, or Richard Dreyfuss? Would Braveheart win for Best Picture, or Apollo 13?
Then came the moment few people saw coming. One of the more obscure Oscars that night went to a short documentary about a woman who had survived the Holocaust. Gerda Weissmann Klein joined the director on-stage and almost did not get a chance to speak. But speak she did. And as she spoke, the auditorium fell silent.
To this room of tuxedos and gowns who were so concerned about who was going to win, Gerda Weissmann Klein reminded them what winning was to her. During her six years in a concentration camp, winning, in her words, was “a crust of bread and to live another day.” And ever since the gates of that camp had flown open and freedom was hers, she could now, for the rest of her life, experience what she described as “the magic of a boring evening at home.”
Perhaps you have a horrific period from your past that has given perspective on your present. But even if you don’t, the apostle Paul gives us perspective from a different source. He gives us perspective in light of what is yet to come.
He starts by acknowledging that this present life is often difficult, hard, full of suffering. We can expect no less. After all, it’s a world broken by sin—your sin and mine.
But then Paul goes on. He says, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Paul is looking beyond the present. He is looking beyond all the temporary heartbreaks and hurts and depressions and disappointments—all the ways it’s possible for us to suffer. Beyond all that, Paul sees the permanent glory you and I will enjoy when we bask in the presence of Jesus Christ.
This coming glory is a certainty. It’s a certainty because Jesus himself has secured it through his perfect life and death in our place. And because it is a certainty, we now possess a perspective on the present sufferings of life—that nothing, nothing compares to what awaits us in Jesus.
Lord Jesus, in my moments of suffering, remind me that nothing compares to what I will receive in you. Amen.
Source: WELS Devotions