“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us…”
One of the questions we struggle with is: Why? Why did this happen to me? There are many things in life that we don’t understand. But in Romans 8 we begin to see some of the outlines of our situation in a fallen world. We see that God is still in control, “working” events for the good of his children. And we see a future glory beyond our present struggles.
The Christian life is not easy. Fighting sin is not easy. Enduring persecution is not easy. Coping with day-to-day life in a fallen world, with corruptible bodies, has its difficulties. Nevertheless, just as there was for Jesus, there is joy set before us — a future so wonderful that our current trials will seem minor. Paul wrote about this 2 Corinthians 4:17-18:
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal…”
But we are not the only ones who will benefit. Paul says that there is a cosmic significance to God’s plan being worked out in us: “For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed” (verse 19). The creation not only wants to see us in glory — the creation itself will also be blessed with change when God’s plan is brought to completion, as Paul says in the next verses: “For the creation was subjected to frustration…in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God” (verses 20-21).
Even despite our trials, our weakness and our sins, “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (verse 28). God does not cause all things, but he allows them, and works with them for his purpose. He has a plan for us, and we can be confident that he will complete his work in us (Philippians 1:6).
God planned in advance that we should become like his Son, Jesus Christ. So he called us through the gospel, justified us through his Son, and united us with him in his glory: “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified” (Romans 8:29-30).