The sufferings of this present time!
(James Smith, "No Comparison!" 1862)
"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!" Romans 8:18
Paul compares present sufferings — with future glory.
Believers are exposed to all kinds of suffering, and instead of obtaining an exemption from afflictions — they are assured that it is through much tribulation that they must enter into the kingdom of God.
Some endure inward suffering, with which no one is fully acquainted but God Himself. They have such darkness, gloom, distress, agitation, trouble, and sorrow — as would not be easy to describe.
Some suffer much in body, from the stressed and disordered state of the nervous system, from chronic diseases, or deformities in the physical frame. They seldom move without suffering, and for years together have but little freedom from weakness and pain. They live a life of suffering, a kind of dying life — and think much of Heaven as of a place where there is no more pain.
Some suffer much financially. Scarcely anything seems to prosper with them — losses, crosses, and opposition meet them at every turn. And though they live honestly, and conduct their business honorably — they are thwarted, hindered, and filled with perplexity. No one can tell what they suffer from financial trials and difficulties.
Others suffer from reproach, misrepresentation, strife, and persecution in the world, or in the Church — or both! No one seems to understand them, or is prepared to sympathize with them; they are like "a sparrow alone upon the house-top." False friends and open enemies unite to trouble and distress them, so that they often sigh, and say, "O that I had wings like a dove, for then would I fly away and be at rest!"
Others in the domestic circle, or from some of the relationships of life — are called to suffer long and seriously.
But whether from trouble of mind, sickness of body, trials in business, family difficulties, or persecution for Christ's sake — all suffer, and most believers suffer much!
But compare their present sufferings — with their future glory:
Glory which will exclude all pain and suffering, all sin and sorrow!
Glory beyond the reach of all foes and the cause of all trouble!
Glory which includes happiness — perfect, perpetual, never-ending happiness!
Glory which includes honor — the highest, holiest, and most satisfying honor!
Glory, or splendor — which will fill the soul, clothe the body, and dignify the entire person forever!
Filled with light, peace, and joy; clothed with beauty, brightness, and magnificence — they will appear with Christ in glory — filling them with wonder and unutterable delight!
This glory will be possessed by us — as part of our marriage portion and inalienable inheritance. But we can form no adequate idea of that glory, for "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined — what God has prepared for those who love Him!" 1 Corinthians 2:9