“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Rom 8:18).
Right as I sat down to write this post, I received a message from my mom about a family friend who is expected to lose her battle with cancer in the upcoming hours. Immediately my heart sank as I thought about her children, grandchildren, her husband and the loss they are about to face.
As a sadness swept over me, I turned to the passage at hand (Rom 8:18-25). I found comfort in knowing that this present suffering would pale in comparison to the glory that is about to be revealed to her when she sees Jesus’ face for the first time. I thought about our friend’s love of singing, and how as a child I loved sitting in the pews in front of her so I could hear her rich harmony belted out. I imagined her praising the Lord in person with a body fully healed and redeemed and how it paled in comparison to the beauty I got to witness as a child. What a joyful moment that would be!
Here in this moment, I know that for our friend’s family, the grief, heartache, and loss is palpable. It’s heavy. It is devastating.
The truth is, suffering is a human experience that no one can escape. It’s a part of living in a world where sin and brokenness exist, but the grand narrative of Scripture tells us that the God of the universe chose to make a way for all to be redeemed. Romans 8 tells us that we, along with all of creation, are groaning as we await this redemption.
As we await freedom from this brokenness, what do we do?
Romans 8:24-25 says, “For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with endurance” (emphasis added).
Are you seeing the same thing that stood out to me? Scripture tells us that we groan while we wait, but we also hope.
Today, as I write this, I am fervently praying for a family saying goodbye and I cannot stop thinking about that hope. The following days and weeks will be full of groaning for them, but even while believers grieve, we are a people who do not grieve without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
This passage tells us that those who are adopted into the family of God hold onto a hope that knows that this suffering, though very real and painful, will pale in comparison to the day when God has promised to right every wrong and wipe every tear from our eyes (Rev 21:3-5). This glorious day, when Christ comes again, is what we hope for on our darkest days. We hope for a day we’ve yet to see, but we know will come because our God is a true and trustworthy God. He keeps His promises and He is always on time.
When our world falls apart, when we get the shocking diagnosis, when one of our family members wounds us, or when we say goodbye to a loved one, we know that our present suffering will pale in comparison to the day Christ rights every wrong. It pales in comparison to the day when He will right every wrong and wipe every tear from our eyes. It pales in comparison to seeing our great Redeemer, face to face, worshiping Him forever.
Although this is a hope we do not see, we are told that this is a true and trustworthy word (Rev 21:5). My friends, whatever you’re facing today, may you find comfort in a God who redeems and is coming again. May you find hope in your eternal salvation as we wait for things unseen.
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