For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
If so be that we suffer with him. Then we do suffer? Yes, even as he did. For ours is a redemptive history, and redemption is not without pain. But the future - oh, how the glory eclipses all the momentary trial! So was it with himself. "For the joy that was set before him," he "endured the cross, despising the shame" (Hebrews 12:2). And so shall it be with us. We may well join the apostle in his triumphant outburst of hope, "For I reckon," etc. Ours is the hope of an immortal glory; nay, the hope is the hope of the world: "the earnest expectation of the creation," etc. So, then, we have for our consideration - the present pains, the future glory.
I. THE PRESENT PAINS.
1. Of the creation. This expression must not be toned down. It refers to all the creation, outside of man himself, with which man has to do; our "world," which is connected by a mysterious solidarity with ourselves, sorrowing in our sorrow, rejoicing in our joy. Once? It was "very good;" all was harmony, beauty, peace. We may not tell what were the joys of the early creation, but it was the garden of the Lord, the paradise of man. The ravages of the storm, the desolations of the wilderness, were then unknown; the creatures preyed not one upon another then; love, liberty, and life were all in all. But man's fall drew a shadow-oh, how dark! - across the beauty; and for love, liberty, and life, there were then strife, bondage, death! "The creation was subjected to vanity;" yes, cursed was the world for man's sake. And now? Look around you: "the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together." The earthquake and storm, the arid desert and dreary seas, the inhospitable clime, the unfriendly skies, the blighted harvests - the shadow of the cross! And the ravages of the animal world: destruction, pain, death. And at last? "The fashion of this world passeth away!"
2. Of ourselves. The nature-part of us is likewise "subject to vanity:" we groan. Disease, death - of our own frame and organic life; of our relationships. Oh, how we are mocked: dust, dust, dust!
II. THE FUTURE GLORY.
1. Of ourselves. We are God's children by faith in Christ; his adopted ones. But though the adoption is real, it is not yet manifest to the universe. No, nor to ourselves in its fulness. As though a beggar-child were adopted by a king, but for a while must still appear in beggar-garments. Oh, it shall not be always so! The beggar-garments shall be cast away, and the royal robe assumed; our sonship shall be made manifest to all: we wait "for the redemption of our body." Yes, God's purposes shall be accomplished; in the resurrection of the Son they are pledged to fulfilment; the body of our humiliation shall be made like to the body of his glory, and "then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory."
2. Of the creation. But if we wait, and wait in hope, so does our creation wait, groan, yearn for the revealing of the sons of God. The ἀποκαραδοκία! The decay and death not intrinsically pertaining to it; no, not if God's world. The vanity to which it was subjected, the mockery of aim, the frustration of purpose, this was all "in hope." And as by man came the curse, by man comes the blessing. Bondage, corruption, through the sin? Yes; and liberty, glory, through the great redemption! Whatever of evil was done, shall be undone; the blot shall be wiped away; the shadow shall pass that the eternal light may shine. And all our relationships with the world, and with one another, these shall be remade then; delivered, glorified! Oh, how the heart has bled - bled because of the frustrations and rendings of this world. Oh, how the heart shall bound - bound with the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ; a gospel, not in word only, but in power, delivering power that shall work its deliverance on man's whole nature, all man's relationships, man's whole world! Shall ours, then, not be the patience - "we wait for it "? Yes for he giveth grace. But shall we not know something of the triumph too? Shall we not grasp the future, and almost live in it as though the present were not? Yes; for ourselves, for our dear ones, for our dear world, "I reckon" etc. - T.F.L.
Parallel VersesKJV: For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.