Sufferings Worth the Glory {Verses of Hope}

Monday, October 27, 2014

There was nothing low key about Paul. He was vengeful, legalistic, and murderous. He was loving, self-sacrificing, and honorable. His life was a mixture of opposites. I am talking about the New Testament Paul. The one who started killing Christians only to turn up as one later. He makes some pretty outlandish statements throughout his writings. Statements that seem to contradict each other just like the story of his life, but the one that always amazes me the most is Romans 8:18. Why? Because Paul's "present sufferings" were beyond anything I will ever experience.

Just look at the short list {See 2 Corinthians 11}...

Exposed to death again and again
Flogged {forty lashes minus one} five times
Beaten with rods three times
Pelted with stones
Shipwrecked three times
Bitten by a snake
Locked up in prison

And yet, he knew whatever he suffered here was worth it in the view of eternity. The glory that would be revealed in him would far outweigh the heartache he endured. And you know? He was right! God used him to give us thirteen books in the New Testament {about 30% of the NT} and to spread the gospel throughout Europe and Asia Minor. We have Paul to thank for our own faith more than likely because of what he did and endured.

Every time I struggle I think of Paul. Not that my hardships are as bad as his, but I hold onto his words of hope. We have no idea where our sufferings will take us, who they will influence, and how they will change the world. Our hardships can be the very anchor for our hope. A hope that God will do amazing things through us.

This post belongs to the series, Verses of Hope. Check out the other posts in this series.

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