“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. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God”. Romans 8:18-19 (NIV)
Paul here writes ‘For I consider’ i.e., I know that your perspective when going through hardship matters. How you consider the tough seasons will configure or shape how you come out of the other side. We know from this scripture that there is a present suffering and future glory. So if there is a future glory, then there must also be a present glory - despite the present suffering. Later on in Romans 8:28 Paul writes ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose’.
So while we are not exempt from hardship, we can be assured that even in those hard times God has a plan for us and the end result will ultimately work out to favour us. How are we to then consider and navigate the challenges life will undoubtedly throw at us? James, in chapter 1 in verses 2-4, puts it like this; “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”.
Each one's plight will look different. You might be suffering through addiction, struggling with low self esteem or perhaps mourning the death of a loved one. You may be battling with anxiety - your mental, physical or spiritual health may be at jeopardy; whatever it is, know that there is hope. We serve a God who is mighty to save. Nothing is too hard for God. Whatever you are going through today is not worthy to be compared with future glory that we will attain in Christ.
Throughout this fast let us reconsider our suffering with the perspective that we serve a powerful God, the God of the whole earth (Isaiah 54:5). Let us not allow the pain of what we go rob us of the hope we have in Jesus and the promises we have made plain to us in God’s Word. You are an overcomer. You will overcome your suffering and all things will work out for your good.
Further Study: Romans 5:3-5, Hebrews 4:15, 1 Peter 5:10, Romans 8:37-38