Romans 8:18 - "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." (NASB)
In this verse Paul most likely referred to suffering and persecution from sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. The principles for those who suffer; some for a lifetime remains the same. Many on this site are experiencing intense physical, emotional, relational, and financial, etc. sufferings . What do you do when encountered with these or any other of a number circumstances?
Thinking of our neighbors next door, the journey to knowing what to do is not far. The parents are in their mid-forties with a son in high school and another twenty-one. The eldest of the two was born with a seizer disorder the doctors cannot identify. Every possible treatment has been attempted including a hemispherectomy. The disabling or removal of one sphere of the brain in hopes of stopping the multiple seizers experienced each day.
The son does not talk or as his mom says , she is not sure whether he is aware of what is going on around him. Attempting all known medications from generic to experimental drugs running $5000 for a three month regiment . Rather than turning him over as a ward of the state, what have the parents done? He will never read or write a blog, truly enjoy a sunset, or a favorite TV program from our best known ablility.
A year and a half ago the wife underwent three months of treatment for cancer. One of her sisters just passed away. Her mother with Alzheimer's then was forced to move from where she lived the vast majority of her adult life, in with another daughter.
They celebrate their disabled sons' life events and birthdays just like the younger. When an ice storm broke two planks of wood from our fence, before I was able to round up the supplies and correct tools to repair it. I came home from work one evenning to see the husband and younger son repaired it. My son did not mow the front lawn before leaving on vacation though asking multiple times. When we returned home, it was mowed.
With everything on their 'plate', when you see them at church or a fellowship function they go out of their way to greet you. In short, sharing God's love in Christ to all who cross their path.
What exactly are they doing? Do they care historically; crucifixion is verified as a form of execution used by the Persian's beginning around 1850 B.C.? What about theological hermeneutics and exegesis for sound interpretation and handling of the word of God? The first and many others we cite in blogs may be interesting factoids the husband graduating from a top 12 engineering university in the U.S. might. The second would be more significant, ensuring anything spoken is sound to their basis of belief and faith. However, of utmost importance is others see them showing and revealing the glory of God through their daily lives. Yes, their lives speak so loudly to mine in showing a trust and hope in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; regardless of circumstance.
Showing the greatest of all things is the love of God. (I Cor. 13:13) Even with the tremendous grief, agony, and suffering experienced in life they allow Christ the victory. Instead, making them more than conquerors proclaiming to the world He lives and loves. Knowing nothing will ever separate them from God's love. (Rom. 8:31 -39)
By daily walking, living, and loving in God's Spirit. They already are revealing the glory of our risen Redeemer. I cannot imagine the revelation of The Father's glory at the dawning of a new heaven and earth in them.
What does God desire me to do when facing temporary or lifelong physical or mental suffering? Let me suggest a few items for consideration:
- To learn obedience as Christ Jesus (Heb. 5:8)
- Give thanks in all things (I Thess. 5:18)
- Trust our best interests are in God's heart - regardless of the circumstances (Prov. 3:5, Phil 1:6)
- Fear not, the Lord is with us (Isa. 43:2, Rom. 8:28)
- Rejoice in Him and sing even from the deepest pit (Phil 4:4, Psa. 42:5)
The path sojourned in this life still requires great amounts of sanctification. How thankful I am God is faithful to see this through and is faithful to me - mostly to Himself. To this I say:
Psa. 146:2 - "I will praise the LORD while I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being." (NASB)
Though we do not get to spend much time with our neighbors or interacting as tremendous amounts of times are spent with doctors and health providers. The witness and encouragement they provide is something they will never know in this lifetime. Knowing creation and all will rejoice as when honored for the incedible resolution God is Good ... all the time.
God's purpose for my life was that I have a passion for God's glory and that I have a passion for my joy in that glory, and that these two are one passion. - Johnathan Edwards
Rom 8: 25 - "But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it." (NASB)
Attributions: New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Bold, Italics, Underline - Mine