How do we live with all this pain and suffering? One of the hardest, least natural things in life is learning how to reconcile pain and hope. Before experiencing great loss, I would have read this scripture passage and just noticed the hope. I think that’s a common thing. It’s why we all end up in shock when bad things happen. But the writers of the Bible wouldn’t be shocked at these bad things. Their faith did depend on things going well. Read this passage through the eyes of someone whose closest friend has been killed or who knows they will soon suffer and die.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.”
Romans 8:18-25 NASB
That’s a lot of suffering, groaning and anguish. Perseverance and hope aren’t needed when things are not bad for a long time.
The Bible isn’t surprised we are still suffering. False prosperity gospel people make us think deep suffering isn’t what the Bible contemplates. But if we really read the Bible and accepted what it really says, we would know that this life will be hard.
But this hope is greater. It’s more than hope that something so-so will continue through eternity. It’s hope that terrible torture, murder, prison, pain and suffering will be nothing in the end compared to the grateness that is to come.
It’s a really BIG HOPE.