THE GLORY OF HEAVEN
Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
— Romans 8:17-18 (NIV)
Suffering and persecution turn our hearts and minds to the glory that will be ours in heaven. Jesus promises a great reward in heaven to those who suffer (Matthew 5:12). Paul says above that the sufferings of the present are not worthy to be compared with the glory of the future, and Peter agreed (I Peter 1:6, 7; 4:13; 5:1-10). A Christian song when I was growing up says, “It will be worth it all, when we see Jesus.” Those that are living today as spiritual “refugees” look longingly toward the eternal home.
Hebrews chapter eleven helps us to understand the history of this. In the first part of the chapter which is the “hall of faith” we see faith examples of power, life and vitality. Then in verse thirty-five the list changes to those who lost their lives—some through horrendous persecution. Yet all were commended for their faith.
In his book The Barbarian Way, Erwin McManus comments about this:
All of them chose and walked the barbarian way, and they were blessed because they did not fall away on account of Jesus. They trusted Jesus with their lives, and they lost their lives on the journey. If you could interview any one of them, however, each would insist that even in the midst of suffering and hardship, he was most fully alive. They were not disappointed in God because they did not misunderstand who He was. They understood His call, and they chose it willingly. John the Baptist would join their number. Some barbarians survive the night in the lion’s den; others experience their darkest night and wake in eternity.
RESPONSE: Today I will rejoice in the glory of heaven that awaits and makes my suffering insignificant.
PRAYER: Help me Lord to remember during the challenges I face here, that eternity with You is infinitely better.
1. Erwin McManus, The Barbarian Way (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2005), p. 41.
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.