“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” - Romans 8:18
Comparisons are something that we do every day. We compare ourselves to others. We compare prices when we shop. We compare our kids to other kids, our house to other houses, where we live to where others live, etc., etc. Not all comparing is bad, but it can be dangerous. Comparisons can be an opportunity for Satan to rob us of the joy, satisfaction, and contentment that we have in Christ.
One of the most opportune times for discontentment to set in is during times of suffering. It is hard not to make comparisons when circumstances seem unbearable. And yet, Paul wrote that, “Present sufferings are not worth comparing” with what is ahead for us in Christ. The phrase, “not worth” means: “Have like value; corresponding.” In other words, Paul reminds us that any present sufferings and the glory that is ahead for a Christian are incomparable…they are not of like value.
How often do we still try to compare the two, though? We are willing to trade eternal glories for temporary comforts. This spiritual shortsightedness not only affects us, but also those around us who need to see the sufficiency of Christ displayed in our lives. When we react to suffering just like those who have no hope, what do we say about our God?
I am not suggesting that it is easy. As you read this you may be without a job, in the midst of a disease or other sickness, or recently divorced or widowed. Your child might be in rebellion, or you may have suffered the extreme grief of losing a child too soon. Maybe it’s addiction, betrayal, or crippling fear or depression that you find yourself fighting against. Whatever the suffering, God is here. Right now and always, He is for you. He goes before, follows behind, and walks beside. You are never alone if you choose to trust Christ with your life.
So, the next time you are tempted to make comparisons, remember that there is nothing in this world worthy of the next. Our future is secure in Jesus Christ. So whatever we suffer now – if we suffer well – will reap a harvest when we reign with Christ forever.
Father, Help me to remember when my life is hard that You are all I need. May my life display Your sufficiency, goodness, and glory to everyone who watches the way I respond when suffering.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.