“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 anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.” – Romans 8:18-19 (NASB)
We considered briefly verse 18 of this passage yesterday. But truly, there’s so much more in the way of promises to rejoice in. The BIG promise is that whatever difficulty, whatever conflict, whatever treatment we receive in our present lives because we have boldly spoken and stood for Jesus Christ and God our Father, it will never ever compare to the reward of glory that we will receive. We’re assured all will be okay and all wrongs will be made right. Now, we have a hope that will not let us down and a promise that one day it’ll be revealed in us. We’ll have what’s far beyond the pain heaped on us in this life. The suffering therefore doesn’t knock us down. Who’s the source and cause of our suffering? Isn’t it other people who do not by faith believe in Jesus as Savior and Lord? But our glory comes from God and there’s no comparison. Our suffering is of this world and our glory is of heaven. Our suffering is short and temporary, our glory is forever. What we suffer is light while our glory is substantial. Our glory promises total perfection of our personhood.
“…that I may know him and the power of his resurrection and (the) fellowship of his sufferings becoming increasingly conformed to his death if only I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” – Philippians 3:10-11*
We’re staying with the promises found in Philippians 3:10-11. All who have accepted by faith the righteousness of Christ imputed to our account will experience a longing to know Him, to know God who has made us righteous in Christ. That desire is a reason we have been given the faith and gift of Christ’s work on the cross. Paul says that he longs for an ever-increasing supply of the power that proceeds from the risen and exalted Savior. When the Father raised the Son he thereby proved his acceptance of the ransom paid by Christ as full satisfaction for our sin. Yet we want more. More of the power which comes only from Christ’s resurrection. Like Paul we long to know and participate more and more fully in even the reproaches and afflictions of his Lord and Savior. Paul confesses that sharing in Christ sufferings results in us increasingly conforming to Christ’s death (see Romans 6:4-11). Paul stresses a longing and a striving to be raised completely above sin and selfishness, so that he can be a most effective representative for the salvation of men to the glory of God. But there is more in verses 12-14 next.
*(Translation from: William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, Exposition of Philippians, New Testament Commentary, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953–2001), 5:169.)