“I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us.” vs. 18
Folks who have remained followers of Jesus for a lifetime are often admired for their faithfulness, for their steady commitment to a life of worship and service. There’s a kindness about them…and a gentleness that is enviable and somewhat contagious. In conversation they express gratitude for the blessings they have received from the hand of God. Of course this doesn’t mean that they will not also have stories of suffering…indeed, some of these faithful ones can tell tales of horrendous pain and loss in the course of their lifetimes. But amazingly, the suffering has never trumped the blessings! Like Paul they have known that walking in the way of Jesus never makes one immune to agony and betrayal. In fact for some the suffering comes as an affirmation of their chosen path…they’ve expected to be treated as Jesus was. And this isn’t some psychotic form of masochism…they don’t seek out rejection. In fact they’re happy when it doesn’t come and life brings affirmation and recognition. But suffering just isn’t their enemy. When it comes they see it as an opportunity to share the wounds of Jesus…some would even call it another of God’s blessings for them. With Paul they know that all the sufferings of this age will be swallowed up in the victory to come.
Thought for the Day: What’s my story of suffering like?