compared to what?
"I consider the sufferings of the present to be as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed in us." —Romans 8:18
We must never compare ourselves with others. Nor should we compare the present with the past and idealize the "good old days." Nevertheless, we should compare the present sufferings with the future glory. When we do this, our sufferings seem like nothing. We are filled with hope and become able to endure anything, even the burdens and boredom of everyday life.
When we fix our eyes on the future glory, we do not escape from present realities. In fact, this gives us the strength to enter into the present sufferings and trials with no reservations. This kind of religion is not the "opium of the people," as Marx alleged. Rather, a religion of hope is the only thing that is not the opium of the people. Communism, unbridled capitalism, and secularism are the real opium of the people, and the effects of these "drugs" are starting to wear off. We need hope to live, not mind-games, ideologies, or petty pleasures. We need Christ in us, our Hope of glory (Col 1:27).
Prayer: Father, may I smile and rejoice even in adversity.
Promise: "In hope we were saved." —Rm 8:24
Praise: Losing his job led James to put his trust back in God and get his life back on track.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our book, Living In Reality, or our four-tape audio series starting with AV 38-1 or two-tape video series starting with V-38. Check our website www.presentationministries.com for the digital availability of the audio and video teachings on CD 38-1 or DVD 38.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 20, 2015
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