For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
1. This was the reckoning of one who could not mistake — for the text is not merely the opinion of the apostle, but as the declaration of God Himself, for the eternal comfort of His Church.
2. And this leads us to remember how very little is said in Scripture of the glories of the world to come. It seems solemnly determined by our Master that His Church shall walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 12:4). Those who die come not back again. Doubtless they sometimes wish it (Luke 16:27-30), but it is a vain wish. He tells us, instead, much about the sufferings and trials which await us in this life. There is a great deal said about a cross: much tribulation, the need of purity of heart, and self-denial. These are not the things by which the world induces us to love and serve it. The world keeps pain in the background, and talks of pleasure. Christ keeps pleasure in the background, and talks of pain. And it is not hard to guess why. It is because the world has so little pleasure to offer as a bribe, that it had need to talk much about it; whereas the Lord of glory has so huge an amount of blessedness in store for those who love Him that if He were to reveal the greatness thereof faith would be swallowed up in present certainty and hope in present enjoyment.
3. And yet the solemn silence of Scripture concerning heaven is now and then all but broken. The lips are sometimes opened, as it were, to speak; and, though closed again immediately, enough has escaped to fill the soul with wonder and to make the spirit attentive. The apostle in the text does not describe heaven; but he tells us that something wonderful might be told. Something of the same kind is found in 2 Corinthians 4:17, 18, and 1 Corinthians 2:9. We may think as we will, and what we will; and we shall still be far, far behind! To see patriarchs, prophets, apostles, the early Churches, will be much, to be sure; yet will it be as nothing compared to what shall be! So again (and oh, the unspeakably higher privilege!) — so again, the beholding of the face of the Son of Man. Or again, to be shown the providences which watched over our lives; to recognise the hand of Love in every blow which overtook us, every disappointment which afflicted us; yea, to be restored, and that eternally, to everything we had ever loved and lost — these things and more, told over ten thousand times, convey but a feeble picture, a faint image of the blessedness of Heaven! To conclude. The use of these declarations is clearly this — to reconcile good men to present sorrow. There is a bright prospect beyond.
Parallel VersesKJV: For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
WEB: For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which will be revealed toward us.