“But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the Lord. (Jer 9:24)
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Ro 8:18)
There is only one thing in which all believers are permitted to glory. It is the fact that we understand and know the God of our salvation! What a privilege that we have been given.
Paul refers to his present sufferings in Romans 8 and states that they fade into insignificance when compared to the glory that will be revealed in him. (If you would like to remind yourself of some of his sufferings, read 2 Corinthians 11:22-33.)
Nevertheless, in spite of all of his trials, Paul continued to serve His Savior. He did not regret his conversion to Christianity; rather, he seemed to revel in suffering, as this next passage will demonstrate.
And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor 12:7-10 – emphasis added)
Paul is clearly talking about our need to depend upon and rely upon God’s grace and strength in order to carry us through every circumstance in our lives. God upholds and sustains our lives. (Ps 3:5; 54:4; Isa 46:3b-4) Without Him, our lives would have no meaning or sustenance. It’s clear from the next excerpt from the book of Philippians that Paul had set his priorities straight, and that he valued knowing Christ above all else.
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Phil 3:8-11 – emphasis added)
It appears to be the case that on our way to glory, we will experience sufferings or trials of various kinds. We can be reassured by Paul’s experiences, and know that God will be with us through everything, and He will amply supply the grace that we need to persevere. One day, we will receive the glory that has been promised. In the meantime, let’s highly value and appreciate the fact that Jesus is our Savior, Redeemer, and Lord!