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These Present Sufferings

In the midst of our trials, we must keep our glorious destination in mind.

Oct 29, 2020

Climbing “Le Môle”

We had heard about the mountain hike and the great view from the top of “Le Môle.”1Le Môle is a cone-shaped mountain of the French Alps which rises to 6112 feet in altitude and is visible from Geneva, Switzerland. So, one day we decided to hike up to see it. About a quarter of the way up, while we were still in the forest, I thought to myself, “Hmm. Hold on. This isn’t much fun. It’s harder than I was expecting. I am tired. Maybe we should just turn around and go home. Why am I doing this? Is it worth it?” And then I remembered: We were doing it for the view from the top. The fatigue and perspiration were for a purpose: we wanted to see the famous view. So, we kept on going. It was hard, but we finally made it. And once we got to the top, the view was so amazing that we forgot about the pain. We sat up there and enjoyed the panorama and were glad we persevered. The view was worth the pain.

Remember Your Destination

Trials are like climbing “Le Môle.” They are hard. We wonder when (or if) they will end. What is the biblical truth that will help us to persevere? Romans 8:18 says, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Our present trials are not on an equal scale with the glory of heaven. In other words, our trials, comparatively speaking, are of such a temporal nature that they will fade in our memories once we get a view of God’s glory. So, we need to keep our destination in mind.

Trials are not only hard, sometimes they seem long. But for God’s people, they are temporary. The Apostle Paul wrote, “For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17). But some of our personal trials certainly don’t feel very momentary and light—they feel long and so heavy! And by human definition, some of the trials that Paul experienced—rejection, beatings, imprisonment—were definitely not momentary or light. But he was making a comparison: When we get to heaven, we will realize that our trials were nothing compared to the glory of heaven. The view of Jesus will be amazing, and we will forget the momentary, light affliction of life in this fallen world. So, to persevere in the “momentary, light affliction,” we must remember our destination. Jesus is worth it.

The Apostle Peter also viewed trials as temporary. He wrote in 1 Peter 5:10: “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” Our sufferings are just “for a little while.” They will come to an end! And because of God’s promises, we persevere and pray, not with hopelessness and defeat, but with thankfulness and joyful anticipation of our destination.

Our Present Comfort and Our Future Rest

Consider Jesus’ life on this earth. He focused on heaven, and His heavenly perspective on His suffering empowered His endurance. Jesus, “who for the joy set before Him endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2b), had the confident anticipation of accomplishing the Father’s plan of salvation for us and the assurance of glory in heaven.

Are you suffering? Have emotional grief or physical pain invaded your life and smothered your hope and joy? Jesus experienced extreme grief and pain (Matthew 26:36-39). He understands. Draw near to Him, our compassionate High Priest (Hebrews 4:15-16). He promised a future in heaven free from grief and pain: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will no longer be any death, there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). But He will be there! We will see Jesus, the Lamb of God, the Lover of our souls and the Forgiver of our sins!

When we finally made it to the top of “Le Môle” we found a delightful surprise: a bench where we could sit and simply admire the breathtaking view! That’s how it will be when we get to our heavenly place of rest after a life of trials. So let heaven be your hope. The view will be of the Savior—He who died on the cross to save us from judgment! Let the anticipation of seeing Jesus your Savior fill your heart with hope and joy. There is suffering in this life. But it is momentary and light compared to heaven’s glory. Keep persevering. The view will be worth it.