I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
The last few weeks (even months) have been out of the ordinary for us. There have been numerous incidents and setbacks that have occurred, as well as many joyous and exciting events. It has been tiring, but there has been one continuous ray of light that keeps peaking through in the midst of it all: perseverance. Now this may not seem like a big thing, but I hope my meaning becomes clear as we look at God’s work on me during this time.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I am also embarking on yet another online Bible study, this one on Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst. I knew before beginning the book it would touch so much more than problems with healthy eating and exercising, and the first two chapters have shown this to be true already. Our word for the week is empowered, and as I reflected on areas of my life I struggle in, I did begin to feel empowered. Stick with me here. Yes, I struggle, but I have also made an amazing amount of progress over the past several years. I realized the events of the past months likely would have sent me into the pit and I would have complained the whole time. Now, these periods of “poor me” are much shorter and I am able to regain peace in the midst of chaos much quicker.
In another Bible study I am participating in, we are studying the book of Romans, and the verse from the past week was Romans 8:18: “ I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Paul’s astonishing perspective given all that he suffered (see 2 Corinthians 11:24-27), reminded me of how we, as Christians, are supposed to approach suffering and trials. This is a topic that is touched upon many times in the Bible (search Bible verses on suffering), and they tell us to rejoice, have joy, be glad, and be expectant of it. I have to say, even as I type this, it sounds odd. Who wants to be glad in suffering? It is not fun. It hurts. Some of the suffering humans beings endure is incomprehensible, yet the Bible tells us to rejoice? It really seems counter-intuitive. However, the Bible is not asking us to take a sadistic view towards pain and suffering, rather it asks us to look beyond the suffering to the promises God has given us. This is what makes me feel empowered. I don’t have to live in the darkness of suffering, hopeless and grasping for anything to take away the pain. I live in the promise of glory with Christ. As Paul states, “our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
So, in the midst of exhaustion, dealing with insurance claims, children being ill or injured, normal craziness of having three (soon to be four) young children, and anything else that happens to come my way, I try to quickly pull myself away from the moment and into God’s promises. Life is much more peaceful that way; for me, for my family and those around me. I also remember all the growth that has come from my suffering. Growth from things I have experienced, but also things I have learned from others who experience much greater suffering than mine. God’s truth empowers me to continue to seek growth and peace in all of life’s stages. I stop looking for this stage to be over for a new start and learn how to live well in my current circumstances. What a tremendous gift!
Going forward in this journey, not just for healthier eating, but in all things that cause me to pull away from God, I am going to remember this:
2 Corinthians 3:5 “We take captive every thought and make them obedient to Christ.”
I am going to take captive every thought and make them obedient to Christ.
What a challenge, but what freedom that comes with the strength of Christ in me.