Friday, April 7, 2017

Glory through suffering? No, say it ain’t so, Joe...

Yesterday a friend mentioned on Facebook that he’s been meditating on the meaning of Romans 8:18, which says, “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.”

I replied: Is “the glory that is to be revealed to us” in our heavenly future only? What of the glory of God in and through us here on earth?

Our sufferings now produce glory later—days, weeks, months and, yes, years later. They produce glory because only through such sufferings can we draw the closest to God’s heart this side of heaven.

I have suffered so deeply the past few years it sometimes makes my friends wince or cry when they see me. No, my visage isn’t marred. It’s that my wife, Renee, and I are more in love with God (and each other) than ever.

I wake up every morning and thank God for who He is, for His sovereignty, providence, holiness, love and mystery.

Believe me, I can’t wait for the glory to be revealed to us in heaven. What a day to be in God’s presence fully!

Yet I experience His presence more than ever now, and only because of my deep, deep sufferings here on earth. Suffering is the portal to the greatest closeness to God we can know in this life.