I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18
This much loved and often quoted verse contains an incredible promise for followers of Jesus. But we often miss the significance of the Romans 8:18 meaning and how it applies to our lives.
The reality is we all face hardships and we all suffer in this life. And this passage should be one that every Christian reflects on regularly and reminds themselves of. There’s powerful truth in this verse, and I want to take a minute to look at what it is.
Let’s dive into the meaning of Romans 8:18 and see how it can encourage us today.
The Context Of Romans 8:18
The book of Romans was written by the apostle Paul to help both Jews and Gentiles understand Jesus’ saving work. This book helps followers of Jesus understand his death, burial, and resurrection, and helps them live in light of what he has done.
In Romans 8 Paul makes some incredible claims about the implications of Jesus’ work and the security we have before God. There is NO condemnation for those in Christ (Romans 8:1) and NOTHING can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:28). If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)
In the middle of this chapter we see Paul talk about our present struggles and suffering. He encourages his readers to look to God in this waiting season. And to trust that God uses everything in our lives for his good and our benefit. One day things will be redeemed and we will be in glory.
Really what Paul is telling us is not to look at what is temporarily in front of us, but rather to look to what is eternal. And that’s what leads us to the verse we are looking at. So let’s dive into the meaning of Romans 8:18.
The Romans 8:18 Meaning
To help you better understand the Romans 8:18 meaning, I’ve broken this verse down into three sections so that we can see what it means.
I Consider That Our Present Sufferings
The word for suffering here is pathemata in the original Greek, and it means suffering for any reason and form because we are followers of Jesus.
The Bible never downplays our struggles and sufferings. It doesn’t say we should just grin and bear. Some have taken this verse as Paul downplaying the suffering we face. But Paul isn’t glossing over the physical and emotional pain that we go through. Rather he’s showing us something to look ahead to.
Throughout the Bible we see an acknowledgement of the pain we experience. In your suffering you are not alone; God sees you.
What the Bible does do is insert hope into our suffering. Hope that it won’t always be like this. Hope that our pain can be redeemed. Hope that we do not suffer alone.
Are Not Worth Comparing With The Glory
Remember Paul isn’t downplaying our suffering with this, but rather he’s elevating what we should cling to. His perspective is that even though our current suffering might be great, our future glories are far superior.
In light of what lies ahead of us in eternity the cost of suffering with, and for, Jesus pales in comparison.
This glory that Paul is talking about is the final aspect of our salvation through Jesus. God will deliver us from the effects of sin forever. Paul here is placing an emphasis on the vastness and incomprehensibleness of this glory we will experience. This doesn’t downplay our suffering, rather it places it in an eternal perspective.
That Will Be Revealed In Us
Because of Christ we can hold onto this hope. One day our suffering will be over, and we will experience an indescribable glory.
Followers of Jesus must not just hold onto this hope, but live in light of what Jesus has done and will do. The hope we have should be a marker for our lives.
Because of this we should walk in obedience with God. Even if that means our lives are harder, and even if that means we will face additional suffering. What is waiting for us in eternity is far greater than what we are going through now.
3 Lessons From Romans 8:18
Now that we’ve looked at the Romans 8:18 meaning let’s look at some practical lessons that we can apply to our lives today.
1. Don’t Hide Your Suffering
I often see Christians feel like they have to hide or downplay their sufferings. Showing their struggles is seen as weak faith. But it’s not, we all suffer in this life and struggling doesn’t mean our faith is weak.
I’ve found when I share what I’m going through it allows other people to feel like they are not alone. Not only that, it allows others to support me. It’s mutually beneficial to share my suffering.
And I think the same is true for you. Now, I’m not saying you need to share what’s going on with everyone. But consider sharing your struggles with a few people. My guess is, if you do that, it will encourage you and help them.
2. Don’t Make Decisions Only Off What You See
Too often I see Christians make decisions in life based on the here and now and not the hope we have in Christ. What’s in front of us is temporary; what God has for us is eternal. The pain you are experiencing now is real, but it is temporary. So don’t base your life off of what’s in front of you, but on what Jesus did for you.
This really is the thrust of this passage. Cling to the hope we have in Christ and not what’s right in front of us.
For more check out: The Powerful Meaning Of 2 Corinthians 5:7 (for we live by faith not by sight)
3. Cling To Jesus
Paul didn’t just tell us to live this way, he practiced what he preached. He had a tough life that was no stranger to suffering. Yet, he clung to Christ for his hope.
When we are struggling the first place we should go is to the God who loves us. Run to him. Give him your worries. Tell him how you are feeling. Hold onto the hope that he gives you.
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