Verse: Romans 8:18-20
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. ****For the eagerly awaiting creation waits for the revealing of the sons and daughters of God. ****For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it…

We need to suffer to be glorified? Suffering is just going to happen since we’re adopted sons and daughters of God? That’s what Paul’s saying right before this cluster of verses. That’s bad news for me, a person who doesn’t like suffering.

However, in this verse, Paul assures us that whatever future glory we get (aka being perfected, sinless, and in the presence of a magnificent, resplendent, incredible God) is going to completely outweigh however bad we feel while suffering.

Personally, I struggle with adopting this mindset. It’s not that I don’t want to hope, but it does feel a bit dismissive to look at your own suffering, or maybe someone else’s, and be like “yeah but chilling with God will be really amazing so don’t worry about it”.

So what do we do?

Something that works for me is acknowledging the suffering as real and painful, and trying to work through it, but also thinking about positive futures (both earthly and heavenly) and trying to align myself better with what God instructs us to do while we’re here on earth. It’s sort of a combo strategy: therapy + mindset shift + distraction so I’m not moping my way through the suffering, and just generally trying to hold a positive outlook.

I’m personally going to spend some more time meditating on why it would be so great experiencing God’s presence and glory. It’s something I sort of take for granted—it’s the end of the race so to speak. But then what? Why exactly is it so wonderful? I think spending some more time dwelling on that glorious future and on God’s character and being will do me some good and help me build faith and hope, and the eagerness Paul talks about frequently in Romans 8.

God, help me understand you and your presence more deeply.

Author: Jordan Ambra