“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” —Romans 8:18
Sufferings? What sufferings? Those are the sufferings mentioned in the preceding verse, “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Romans 8:17); the sufferings we must go through because, though we are children of the King and are heirs of the kingdom, we are still behind enemy lines, so to speak. We are surrounded by the sinful corruption of an evil and adulterous generation. We suffer because we must wrestle daily, “not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). We suffer because, though we have been saved by God’s grace and now desire to serve Christ, please God, and worship Him in spirit and in truth, we still dwell in these bodies of flesh (Romans 7:14), and we must therefore struggle against this flesh to mortify it through the Spirit (Romans 8:13). Our sufferings are all those things that take place in the true Christian life that must daily deal with the struggle between sin and law, liberty and licentiousness, flesh and Spirit, &etc.
Yet, these sufferings cannot compare with the ultimate glory to come (2 Corinthians 4:17); and as we shall see in the lessons to come, the rest of Romans 8 will tell us that our sufferings are what make the glory to come that much more glorious.
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Read the previous article in this series, “Powerful Privilege as Joint-Heirs with Christ“ (Romans 8:16-17).