18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.
19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.
Romans 8:18-19 (NLT)
In this article, we shall continue with the issue of suffering. I am sure by now no one reading this article will have the impression that being Christians will protect us from sufferings. In the previous article, we learn that as Christians we will share in God’s sufferings but these sufferings must not include those Jesus had taken away at the Cross. In other words, it is not God’s will for us to suffer the effects of poverty, sickness and other forms of failure. God’s wish above all things is for us to prosper and be in health as our souls prosper.
Verse 18 teaches us the most effective way to overcome the negative effects of any sufferings that we are going through now. Look forward to the future glory. No matter how bad your situation is right now, just tell yourself, “Yet what I suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to me later.”
This means we should work and focus on the solution and not allow the present difficulties to paralyze us. The great part about this verse is, it is applicable to all types of sufferings from “legal” suffering like persecution from the theologians to “illegal” ones like poverty and sickness.
Let me give you some examples on the application of this verse.
Supposed you are very poor now. There is nothing in your bank account, burdened with a mountain of debts and have a lot of unpaid bills in front of you. What are you going to do? Are you going to meditate on the unpaid bills? Are you going to fill your mind with negative thoughts? Are you going to keep confessing, “It is all over. There is no way I can have enough money to pay all my debts.”
What do you think will happen if you do the above? The answer is nothing. The bad situation that you are in will never change if you focus on it. In fact, if you continue to focus on it, it will become more secure and last longer. Negative thoughts will only make the bad situation worse.
The solution is in the practice of Verse 18 above. Instead of meditating on how bad the present situation is, focus on God’s faithfulness in delivering you. You have to keep reminding yourself that God is currently working behind the scenes to get you out and bring great blessings to you. The more you are convinced of this truth, the more you are empowered to face your current difficulties. Your faith will grow. It is only a matter of time that your physical state will conform to you spiritual state. Your poverty will turn into prosperity. You have seen the revelation of God’s glory in your life.
Here is another one. You may be very sick right now. You can feel the pain and see the effects of your disease. The medical report from the doctors tells you that there is no hope for recovery. Your disease is terminal. What are you going to do? Are you going to agree with the medical report and the physical symptom? If you do, nothing will happen. You will just be spending the remaining days of your life in sufferings and pain.
However, should you choose to put Verse 18 in practice, the situation will change. Instead of focusing your attention on the pains, focus instead on the divine health from God. You have to keep reminding yourself that Jesus had taken all you disease at the Cross. This disease has no right to oppress you. God has given you the right to divine health. The disease may have infected your whole body and don’t ever let it infect your mind. You must strengthen your faith. Think positive, believe positive and fill your heart with joy. You must convince yourself that you can going to overcome this disease no matter how incurable it is because he who is in you is greater that he who is in the world. The sufferings you are enduring now are nothing compared to the glory God will reveal to you later. You will reclaim your health.
Verse 19 says all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. The revelation of our identity affects the entire creation. How does this work? I shall elaborate further in the next article. In this part of the article, I am going to focus on “God will reveal who his children really are.”
What does this mean? Why does God need to reveal who his children really are? Does this mean we are not sure whether we are the children of God? Of course not. Earlier verses have convinced us that as Christians we are the children of God. So this revelation is not for us but for the people of the world – non believers. Right now, the world only considers us Christians as the followers of a religion. When we tell them we are the children of God, they will think of it as a religious metaphor, just like the religious people.
However, in Verse 19 God promised they will see for themselves what it really means to be the children of God. What do you think can convince them that we are truly the children of God? I am sure it must be something physical and very obvious. Non-believers cannot possibly see our spiritual riches. So, I conclude that it must the day where we Christians live in abundant prosperity, good health, long life and great success. The non-believers will look at us and say, “Surely all of you must be the children of God.”
The entire creation is waiting for this day.