Comparison – March 28, 2023
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
Devotion based on Romans 8:18
See series: Devotions
This devotion is for those among us who, in this moment, are suffering. Your suffering may be from a toxic environment at work. It may be from a collapse in your finances. It may be from a rift in your marriage. It may be from a family member who has broken your heart. Your suffering may be from having to experience great humiliation or shame. It may be from some reminder that has triggered awful memories of a past failure. It may be from profound loneliness. It may be from the death of someone you’ve known and loved your whole life. Or your suffering may be from constant physical pain or misery.
What to do? One approach is to say, “Others have it worse than I do,” which often helps. One can usually find examples of individuals we know whose suffering seems worse. Such a point of comparison, however, has drawbacks. What do I do in that moment, for instance, when I look around and discover that, from my perspective, no one in my circle of acquaintances is suffering quite the way I am?
There’s a better point of comparison. And that better point of comparison involves Jesus. All the suffering you and I endure is the result of sin—your sin and mine. God the Son saw our plight. Out of a love we will never fully grasp, he chose to become one of us. On our behalf, he lived a life of pure goodness—the life you and I have failed to live. And then, in our place, he suffered. He suffered a kind of suffering none of us will ever comprehend. He did this to cleanse us of our wrongs. He did this so that you and I will never suffer for our sins. Never.
And it means that our time of suffering in this world is temporary. Through faith in our living Christ, an eternity of joy awaits—a glorious joy to which our present suffering cannot compare.
Lord, I am in a moment of extreme suffering. But you’ve seen to it that it will be brief. And eternal joy with you awaits. Thank you. Amen.