Romans 8:18: For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (NASB)
Let’s consider glory.
I confess, glory is a concept difficult for me to understand. The word is used about 160 times in the New Testament, and even more in the Old Testament. We are to give glory to God in worship – I know how to give praise but not glory.
The Gospel of Matthew describes Jesus’ return “with great power and glory.” Again, I understand the great “power” better than I understand “glory.” Most confusing is the phrase in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “we are being transformed from glory to glory.”
I’m changing from sinner to saint but what does “glory to glory” mean?
With more glory do I get brighter and my countenance changes? With glory to glory can I preach a message two hours in length with no one leaving the Facebook online broadcast?
During my confusion I thought of Chip and Joanna Gaines.
If you have purchased, renovated or owned a house, you have heard of the show “Fixer Upper.” Each episode begins with Joanna saying, “We take the worst house, in the best neighborhood, and turn it into your dream home.”
Back to Romans 8:18: …the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to be revealed to us!
I understand this! You take a house, the worst in the neighborhood, and restore it to its former glory. You see demolition day, Chip making several miscues, renovation, and Joanna with personal touches.
The culmination of each show – a large photograph of the old house is pulled back with the new house behind. The owners can’t believe the change. Full glory, beyond full glory – restored.
Back to Romans 8:18: … the sufferings of this present time.
There are two words for “time” in the Greek language. One means time as in “time of day or year.” The other indicates opportunity. The word “time” in Romans 8:18 is “opportunity.” Paul doesn’t teach that your sufferings today are going to result in future glory in eternity.
Paul does teach that your sufferings today present an opportunity for present and future glory! You don’t have to wait for heaven to take advantage of an opportunity today.
Opportunities through suffering are exciting. You get to demolish the old and start with the new.
Romans 3:23 says, “Grant Edwards has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (OGV)
My difficulties present the Spirit an opportunity to change my heart and my life today.
For this opportunity, I do not need Chip and Joanna Gaines!
Neither do you.