Summary: This sermon deals with the inevitability of suffering and the incomparable glory that will far overshadow the travail of earth.
GLORY AND SUFFERING
Rom 8:18 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. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
Illustration: A physical fitness trainer might say to a beginning student after the first few days of exercise, ““If you are sore, don’’t be discouraged because that is a necessary part to becoming healthy and toned muscularly. The teacher is not expressing doubt about a students soreness, that’’s a given. He is only trying to encourage the student by relating what the soreness means. This is what Paul us doing for us in this verse. He is saying that we should not be discouraged by the hardships of this present life since they necessarily precede the future glory of being a child of God. We can actually rejoice in our sufferings because our hope for the future is certain. (Romans 5:3-5)
I. THE PROPER ANALYSIS OF SUFFERING
Rom 8:18 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.
Peterson: don’’t think there’’s any comparison
between the present hard times and the coming good times.
Vincent “I reckon” logizomai (our word “logic”)
It implies reasoning. "I judge after calculation made"
Larry Sarver: Paul uses the word ““consider”” in
verse 18. In the original Greek this was an accounting term that meant to calculate something. Paul says that he has done the math and added it all up. He has added up all the sufferings of this life on one side of life’’s ledger and he has added up all the glories of the future life on the other side of the ledger and the glory far exceeds the pain. The suffering in this world is nothing compared to the glory of the next!
Christians need to do this spiritual math. We need to look at our problems from an eternal perspective. Yes we need to recognize that there are real hurts and pains in life. There is the hurt of losing a loved one. There is the hurt of sickness, infirmity and physical pain. There is the hurt of rejection. There is the hurt of poverty and lack. There is the hurt of broken relationships and the disappointments of life. We must recognize these things as present realities but we must also look ahead to the glory to come. Only then will we be able to have the attitude of hope and patience that Paul calls for in verse 25.
Martin Lloyd Jones: If you are really suffering as a Christian it is a proof that you are a Christian, that you are a child of God. The thing inevitable. We must suffer if we are Christians. This is an absolute rule. As he suffered, so shall we. So if we are suffering because of our relationship to Him, and as Christians, it is an absolute proof of our relationship to him.
Present Time : kairou (NT:2540)] - `of the present
season’ or `period;’ this word being chosen to remind the Christian reader of its definite and transitory character, in contrast with the eternity of the future glory;
JFB The proper perspective of time is so important. We are the instant generation. We want everything faster. We have instant coffee, fast food, canned biscuits, fast computers, high speed internet, jet travel, and don’t forget consumer credit that allows you to have everything you want right now.
The very thought of patience is anathema. You are foolish to wait. You are foolish to wait til marriage to have sex. You are foolish to deprive yourself of the nice things of life while you are young. You are foolish to bear down to hard tasks when you could be having fun.
Sarver: Many Christians today are disillusioned and discouraged because they have unbiblical expectations of a trouble free life and because they are looking only at the present situation. They say things like, ““If I am a child of God how come I still get sick?”” ““How come I still suffer pain?”” ““How come Christians still die?”” ““How come Christians experience famine and poverty?”” (Genuine, faith-filled, and mature Christians do experience all these things!) Their expectations are not met and they grow discouraged and disillusioned because they are looking for the full benefits of being a child of God now when the Bible teaches that we are not to fix our eyes on the present situation but are to look ahead in faith to eternal glory. We wait in faith for the full benefits and inheritance of being a child of God to take place.