Today's Reading: Romans 8:18-23
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Do you worry? Do you have problems? Those concerns have got nothing on the joy and glory the Lord has waiting for you! Are you sick? Do you know someone who is dying or has died? Are you sad? Are you lonely? Are you depressed? Angry? Frustrated? None of that has anything on the glory that the Lord has prepared for you! You might not even be able to imagine it now, but when you have the eternal joys of life with Jesus, the tough stuff of this life will seem like a far away dream, a fading memory.
That's because Jesus has died for your sins and risen again. The same Jesus who prayed desperately in the Garden that the Father let the suffering pass Him by, nevertheless went to the cross for you. How is it that Jesus, who doesn't even deserve to die, goes to the cross for you? How is it that He can tolerate that suffering and punishment and the weight of the sins of the world? In the New Testament we later read (Hebrews 12:2) that Jesus endured the cross because of the joy set before Him. He knew what was coming after suffering: glory and joy and peace and rest.
Now, because Jesus has done this--has accomplished salvation--your suffering is not even comparable to what the Lord has prepared for you. Still, when you suffer, worry, are in pain, are hurting, it's hard to remember or even imagine what the Lord is going to bring you to on the Last Day. How can you remember? What can bring to mind what awaits you? Look to your Baptism. There is the seal and guarantee and “down payment” of the glory that is to come. Feast upon the body and blood of Jesus and look toward that heavenly Feast for which His body and blood prepares you. Hear God's word preached and sung and the Holy Spirit will bring you the comfort of that promised joy.
You may suffer much in this life. But it's nothing at all compared to the glory God has prepared for those who are in Christ Jesus. As the Bible reminds us: “Weeping may endure for a night. But joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). As it did on Easter morning. As it will on the bright morning of our Lord's return in glory. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
From God's joy can nothing sever, For I am His dear lamb, He, my Shepherd ever. I am His because He gave me His own blood, For my good, By His death to save me. (LSB 756:4)