by Heather Tietz
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which will be revealed toward us.
Immunizations. Homework. Surgeries. Labor pains. Exercise. Our schedules are filled with the discipline of suffering. We’ve learned that if we choose some pains to endure for a bit, there will be greater pleasures later.
The early church was suffering pains. They were growing at a time when their surrounding culture was polytheistic. Christianity was illegal. Refusal to worship the Roman gods brought many to criminal trials where they were condemned to face wild beasts in the Roman amphitheater or burned at the stake. The apostle Paul encouraged the early church in his letter to the Romans. In spite of what appears to be horrific persecution he says, it is nothing compared to the glory that awaits. This suffering is small, it’s temporary; the glory of Heaven is immeasurable, it’s eternal.
We all have the discipline to endure. Perhaps you aren’t losing your life or your marriage over your decision to follow Christ, but laying down your life, your time, your money for God’s work, for your neighbor, is a sacrifice. Honoring a Sabbath is a financial sacrifice. Taking time to pray for needy friends and family is a time sacrifice. Sometimes the care we give to others returns void; it is a sacrifice of heart.
Take heart. For every pain, this world can present there is a future pleasure that will far surpass it. Look ahead and find hope.