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. (Romans 8:18)
It Is All About Perspective
The people of God have always had a different view of life and the daily struggles that encumber the body, soul and mind. There is something inspiring to see in the hearts of those who have devoted their lives to serving the Lord yet facing multiples trials of conflict whether from disease, sorrow, persecution or death. The world swirls around the saints of God with all of its confusion and chaos but they are unmoved. Paul was constantly bombarded with the trials of those who sought to kill him, perils on his journeys and concern for the spiritual welfare of the church. In all of the mounting pressures from the world about him the apostle calmly walked the path of righteousness with the resolve of hope guiding his life. He did not do something herculean in its nature as if no one else could have the same kind of faith. What moved the heart of the apostle Paul was his perspective of life and all the trials that he faced. Without a clear view of life and the proper placement of what happens in this world and what is to come; no one can truly reach the maturity of abiding trust in the promises of God.
Paul suffered a lot in his life. When he obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ his life took on the suffering servant work of spreading the word of God to the world. It was not an easy task. He was beaten, imprisoned, scorned and sought after by assassins. The heavy weight of the church pressed hard upon his soul as he wrote letters upon letters to exhort and rebuke and chasten the brethren to follow the path of divine authority. His life was an incredible story of servitude. While sitting in a Roman prison the apostle penned the epistle of joy to the saints at Philippi. This could only be done because of how he viewed life. It was hard on Paul and he did not welcome the pain inflicted whether bodily or spiritual. All he could think about was how short life was but how wonderful the glory of eternal life would be. Perspective. He put the sufferings of life in a box and understood that whatever he endured in this life was nothing compared to the inexpressible joy of what was to come. Life was a vapor and Paul knew that. No matter how many years he lived his life was a wisp of air that was only an atomic particle of time. He did not look at life from the lists of his birthdays but that final day of rebirth when he would never die again. It all has to do with perspective.
The aged apostle has been dead for nearly two thousand years. His legacy lives on through the writings of the Holy Spirit. Many of God’s saints have been laid to rest in the glory of the resurrection that is to come. A person’s view of life will determine how life is viewed. Paul knew the sufferings of life were temporary. His focus was not on the trials of the flesh but the joys of eternity. There is no comparison of what is to come with what is now. It is easy to consume life with the trinkets of this world and never raise the eyes to the glory that is to come. Many will miss Heaven because they were too concerned for the pleasures of life that are temporary. Sadly they believe that everything that is to be gained is in this world. Death is the same for all men. What lies beyond death is what separates men. Knowing that eternity is without end brings joy to the saints who trust in the promises of the Lord. This life can be hard and there will be challenges but looking to the author and finisher of faith in the hope of eternal glory will make the journey joyful.
Jesus came to earth so that we could look into the portals of Heaven and see our Father who has so much to bless us with in eternity. The Son of God gave His life and through His life we can live with hearts and minds focused on what lies beyond the grave. The suffering of this world cannot be compared to eternal life. What happens here is temporary. Eternity is without end. Life at its best is a vapor that appears for a little while and then is gone. Suffering is but for a moment. Having faith in God to trust His promises will ease the pain of mortality so that we can put on immortality. Joy awaits. Death is welcomed because it is no longer feared. What can compare to the blessings of eternal life? All of the joys of redemption await those who keep their eyes on the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.