Romans 8:17-18, “Now if we are children [of God], then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
Saints, so many are writing these days about becoming weary … weary of the loss of freedoms, weary of imperious dictates by both elected and unelected officials, weary of being held hostage by a “virus.” There are even some who say they are weary of waiting for the Rapture. Mostly, I hear that Christian people are weary of living in what were formerly Christian lands but have now become pagan, Godless lands.
The Book of Romans, written by Apostle Paul, is packed full of wisdom to guide Christians into godly living while living in a pagan, godless land. Rome was not only a city but a huge empire which stretched from Asia to Britain. The saying ‘all roads lead to Rome’ was absolutely true in that day, for the Romans had built all the roads or improved what was already there. One road led into another until all roads eventually came to Rome.
Rome was notoriously pagan, as was every other nation occupying earth at that time. Christians suffered particularly brutal treatment from the Romans. The gods of Rome, which included each successive emperor, were to be worshiped alone. There was no room for any other, and those who blasphemed against the gods of Rome were in for a very bad time, usually some sort of torture and a heinous death at the end of that.
The emperors, who set themselves up as deities, saw the God of Israel as a real threat both to them and to the stability of the empire; for His followers preached a gospel that was so foreign, so radical to Romans, as to be considered by them as blasphemy, words of rebellion, and completely opposed to the Roman way of life. What did the Christians preach? Christ crucified, risen, and coming again. They preached, as we do, that the Kingdom of Heaven is not of this world and, therefore, the rules of this Godless world do not hold sway there. They also preached peace, love and the Blessed Hope of redemption through Jesus Messiah.
In the kingdom of God, all is righteous, good, holy, and peace-able. The Romans were a war-loving people and held in great contempt the humble, the peace-makers – the followers of Christ, the Lamb of God.
Please consider what I am telling you about this ancient time as superimposed on our modern world, for the result is exactly the same, even down to persecution. The world, at this time, hates anything to do with Christianity – the teachings of Jesus Christ. And even today, in lands where Christians are the religious minority – Iran, Saudi Arabia, China, Nigeria, Sudan, North Korea, and so on – Christians are tortured and murdered by the thousands each year. (The good news amongst all this horror is that the spilled blood of martyrs waters the tree of faith, and where there is shed blood, there is the forgiveness of sin and the growth of faith in Christ.)
The thing is, we “western” Christians of the 21st century, who have never before had to truly contend for our faith, are beginning to discover what the first-century believers were up against. We are discovering what it is for followers of Jesus to live in a world that hates Him and us. Jesus Himself said, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first” (John 15:18).
But Paul tells the Roman Christians that their suffering is not worth even comparing to the glory which Jesus will reveal to us and in us. That glory, Paul says, will be not only be revealed TO us but will be revealed IN us. He likens the Children of God, us, to children of rich fathers who inherit their fathers’ wealth. He says we are heirs of God the Father – co-heirs with Jesus, Son of God. And what is our inheritance? His glory! And it is HIS glory that will be revealed in us, according to verse 18.
And, beloved, when God’s glory is revealed in us, we will have eternal cause for rejoicing.
Matthew 5:12, “Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Those of us of a certain age have certainly lived in one of the best times in the history of the world. Though our parents and grandparents lived through two world wars and a great depression, we, their kids and grands, have lived in a magical, mythical kingdom of great freedom (bought at their expense, by the way), with plenty of food, clean water and fresh air, an education system that taught us the basics needed to do business, to communicate well with others, and to get along with others, as well as a health care system that got us from the cradle to the grave in relative ease.
Over the past 30 or so years, this has all been changing right before our eyes, in plain daylight. The socialist and elitist globalists have slipped into our schools, our health care, and our governments and are working overtime now to bring about a one-world government and a one-world religion, utilizing the twin fears of climate change and the COVID pandemic. It has all changed so very quickly, almost in the twinkling of an eye, for those who have not been listening and watching.
For believers, this is really not strange nor even unexpected because God’s Word lays out exactly how it is all happening and will continue to happen on into the future until the man of lawlessness is revealed and the tribulation lays waste to the world.
Again, I caution you to remember AND BELIEVE that the LORD God, Who loves those who love Him, will not let you see this trial that is coming on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth (Revelation 3:10). The Rapture must happen either BEFORE the Man of Sin is revealed or right about the same time.
As we see certain foretold events seemingly coming to fruition (the Vaxx Mandate / Passport, e.g.), we ought to be preparing our hearts for the greatest joy we will ever know.
Apostle Peter speaks to this set of circumstances in the three verses (below) taken from his first epistle or letter.
1 Peter 1:6-7, “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
In Chapter One, he writes to the first-century Christians that though they may have to suffer grief in all kinds of trials, it will be only for a little while. Now, he doesn’t say that we will rejoice AFTER we have suffered for a while. The words are this: “In all this you greatly rejoice.” Why? Because trials have come to prove, not to God, for He knows all things, but to ourselves that our faith is genuine. When we are tested and find our strength in the LORD, our trust in Him enlarges. The more we suffer and persevere in Him (all the while rejoicing in HIM), the stronger and more resilient our faith becomes. And Peter tells us our faith is worth more than gold which is refined by fire.
What is our faith worth? More than anything on earth, when it results in praise, glory and honour for our God, when Jesus is revealed at the end of the age.
This is why Jesus says it is so important to stay strong, stand firm until the end. His glory and the glory of all of heaven will be worth more than the entire earth and all its riches … nay, more than the entire physical universe! This is glory we cannot fathom but must take on faith. I’m willing to take it on faith. How about you? Something that is that glorious, and not fleetingly so, but eternally, is worth suffering for a little while, don’t you think?
1 Peter 4:13, “But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.”
According to Peter, we won’t just rejoice; we will be OVERJOYED when Jesus’ glory is revealed. Our human hearts would probably burst at their seams, except we will by then have new bodies, and our joy will be complete, meaning it will be perfect joy for eternity!
For years I have tried to imagine what heaven is like. I know it must be absolutely gorgeous, for the earth, even in its fallen state, is pretty spectacular, and God made heaven as well the earth. A friend, a fellow writer, is so enthused about seeing Jesus in the Rapture, he writes that he can’t wait until he sees Jesus. He says, “And after falling down before Him in utter amazement and joy, I’ll get up again and see Him, see His face and His glory, and I’ll be happy forever.”
I’m beginning to understand now that heaven is being with Jesus, merging with Him, somehow in His glory. Even as I write these words, I am overcome with goosebumps and shivers. Someone once told me when that happened, it indicated a visit from God’s Holy Spirit. Well, His Spirit lives in me already, so that may well be.
The last verse from Peter is 5:10, “And the God of all grace, Who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”
What this verse tells me is that if I suffer for Christ and do it with joy in Him, He will give me what I need to stay firm in my faith in Him until the very end. He IS the God of ALL grace, and the LORD God has called us to believe in His precious Son, the One Whom He sent to die for our sin; the One Whom Father God will send again to the atmosphere of earth to gather up His believers, His children – catch them up in the air – rapture them to safety and peace. And Jesus will bring us with Him when He returns to the surface of the planet at the very end of the age, touching His foot on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem and sorting out the wicked from this world to usher in His Millennium Kingdom. And we who will by then be living in His glory will reign with Him for a thousand years! (Revelation 20:6).
After that, the LORD God says He is making all things new. Behold, a new heaven and a new earth! And He will wipe every tear from every eye. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things will have passed away. And God Almighty told Apostle John, who recorded all these things in the Book of Revelation, to “write this down because these words are trustworthy and true” (Revelation 21:5).
I’ll leave you now with ancient words from both the Prophet Isaiah and King David. See if they are not as spring-fresh today as they were then:
“For when You did awesome things that we did not expect, You came down, and the mountains trembled before You. Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides You, Who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him” (Isaiah 64:3-4).
And, “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD” (Psalm 27:14).
Let us pray:
Heavenly LORD, we wait for You as patiently as we can. Sometimes our human impatience urges us to pray for Jesus to come sooner rather than later. Yet we know that Your timing is perfect, O LORD, and all things happen according to Your time. One day with You is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day on earth. All will happen as You have laid out for us in Your Holy Word. Please give us patience and steadfastness to wait upon You in Your time. Still, we pray Maranatha – Come, LORD Jesus. Amen.
If anyone reading this devotional has not yet received Jesus as their Saviour, but God has touched your heart by His Holy Word, please email me (email@example.com) or find a Bible-believing local church and ask the Pastor what you must do to be saved in Grace. In the meantime, please consider the ABCs of Salvation:
A – Admit
Admit what you have done wrong and ask forgiveness.
Romans 3:23, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Romans 6:23, “The wages of sin is death.”
I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
B – Believe
Believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose again as payment for your sins.
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”
Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
C – Confess and Choose
Confess and choose to allow God to be in charge of your life.
Matthew 16:24, “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
Romans 10:9, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Romans 10:13, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
This article, based on God’s Holy Word, was written by the inspiration of God’s own Holy Spirit. All glory to God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.