Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Fourth Trumpet

With the writing of the 18th verse of this 8th chapter of Romans, we come to a Word which does not seem one to shout, but one to whisper in holy wonder.  "I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to revealed to us."  If ever a Word of Holy Scripture was written in faith, it is surely this Word.  As Paul writes, he does so as one whose body has been hammered on the anvil of suffering.  He endured much in order to live in faithfulness to the calling of the Damascus Road.  He endured the kind of suffering that comes from storm and deprivation, but also the kind that comes at the hands of evil men who sought to bring him to the point of death as a way of deterring his proclamation of the Christ. 
What a contrast he makes with this verse.  He compares suffering in the present with glory in the future.  He puts them on the scales and the weight of the suffering did not push down the balance because on the other side was the glory about to be revealed.  In a surprising and unexpected way, he connects our suffering and God's glory.  As difficult as the present moment may be, it can never have more impact upon us than the glory God is going to reveal to us.  Suffering is hard.  There is no other thing to say that is honest.  But, there is also glory.  It is a glory that will cause us to know that whatever comes is hardly going to be remembered in light of the life that awaits us with Him in the heavenly places.
Ah, here is a Word which goes beyond this preacher's ability to speak.  Sometimes the deep things of God known in the heart are hard to frame with words, but that human frailty does not diminish the divine promise and its power.   What we cannot speak, we shall know.  As Paul will later write, "Now hope that is seen is not hope.  For who hopes for what is seen?" (Romans 8:24)  Sound the trumpet!  Hear its sounds and know that God is doing a great and extraordinary thing!

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