It doesn’t take long to become fearful and hopeless looking at the current state of the world. Wars, economic uncertainty, terrorism – it seems to be unending. In light of it all, Paul’s statement about current suffering pales in comparison to God’s glory seems almost – naïve. Counterintuitive? Absolutely. Certainly, this is counter-cultural when held up to world headlines today. So, what do we do with such a radical statement?
Let me start by saying, I believe with all my heart that the Gospel is the greatest message of hope anyone could ever encounter. To understand the hope of the Gospel, we must look beyond our current life and circumstance. This requires viewing life through the lens of faith. And Paul’s statement of hope requires faith.
So, when the sufferings and groaning of the world appear too much, where do you place your hope? If our hope is in this life, we will find ourselves stuck in hopelessness and despair. If our hope is in this life, Christians should be pitied above all others because the foundation of our faith is built upon an eternal Savior who is coming to make all things new- a hope bigger than this world.
But, if our hope is in the One who is eternal, if our hope is in the One who is coming to make all things new, then we can confidently say in any circumstance, “What we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later!”
Life’s struggles invite us to discover where we place our hope. What about you? Where is your hope? No matter how miserable your present circumstances appear, you really can believe the best is yet to come. Jesus Christ offers you this hope. You just have to believe it.
Adapted from a sermon by George Wright, Senior Pastor, Shandon Baptist Church, Columbia, S.C.